Weeks after appointing his son, Olukayode Jnr, as one of the 23 new judges of the Federal High Court, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola has appointed his younger brother, Adebayo Ariwoola, as the new auditor for the National Judicial Council (NJC).
Peoples Gazette reports that Adebayo’s new role overseeing the NJC’s internal audit unit, responsible for ensuring financial integrity and compliance, has prompted questions about the influence of familial connections in pivotal positions within the judiciary.
Critics are apprehensive that such an appointment might compromise objectivity and ethical standards.
Chido Onumah, an anti-corruption advocate, highlighted the inherent challenge the appointment presents to transparency, emphasizing the conflict of interest posed by the auditor’s familial ties.
“It is about transparency here. There is no chance that the auditor will do anything to the detriment of his older brother, and there lies the fundamental issue with the appointment,” he said.
Acknowledging civil servants’ right to aspire to senior positions, public affairs analyst Lanre Suraj emphasized the need for heightened sensitivity to conflicts of interest in such appointments.
Suraj stressed the importance of an impartial and independent auditor, aligning with public expectations of fairness and transparency.
“For me, I think it will be more than important for the CJN and the NJC to find a way around it without putting both the office of the CJN and that of the auditor in that moral complications and burden before the public,” he noted.
Juwon Sanyaolu, a member of the Take-it-Back Movement, drew attention to a broader trend across government institutions, expressing concerns about a lack of consideration for public perception and opinion.
He condemned the trend, describing it as “improper and condemnable.”
“We are witnessing a system of ‘anything goes’ under the ruling All Progressives Congress where senior public officials have no regard for what is publicly tenable,” he added.