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Presidency Says Operation Against Judicial Officers is Targeted at Corruption as NBA Declares State of Emergency over The Legal Profession

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President Muhammadu Buhari (2)The Presidency has said the on-going ‘surgical operation’ against some judicial officers is specifically targeted at corruption and not at the judiciary as an institution.

Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, made the clarification in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.

According to Shehu, the president reserves his highest respect for the institution of the judiciary as the third arm of government and will not do anything to undermine its independence.

Shehu said Buhari remained a committed democrat, “in words and in his actions, and will not take any action in violation of the constitution.

“In a robust democracy, such as ours, there is bound to be a plurality of opinions on any given issue but there is a convergence of views that the country has a corruption problem that needs to be corrected. But reports by a section of the media are giving us cause for concern.’’

The Presidential aide advised that, in undertaking the task of reporting, the media should be careful about the fault lines they opened.

“It is wrong to present this incident as a confrontation between the executive and judicial arms of government,’’ he said

Shehu said the Presidency had received assurances from the Department of Security Services (DSS) that all due processes of the law, including the possession of search and arrest warrants, were obtained before the searches on some judges.

“To suggest that the government is acting outside the law in a dictatorial manner is to breach the interest of the state,’’ he said.

That the arrest of three judges for alleged corruption has angered some stakeholders in the judiciary, especially Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).

The NBA President, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud (SAN), in a press conference on Saturday had said:

We are in a democratic society and we cannot accept a situation where armed, masked SSS operatives invade homes of the justices of the Supreme Court and judges of our high courts.

This is a ploy by the executive to intimidate the judiciary and we will not accept it. The NBA will not accept it. I want to emphasise again that we’re not under military rule and we cannot accept this Gestapo style of operations.

We demand that President Muhammadu Buhari should call his security agencies to order as this kind of practice is not acceptable under a democratic rule.

If there are issues affecting judicial officers, there are established processes and procedures for handling them and we demand these constitutional processes must be obeyed.

I have declared a state of emergency on the legal profession over the matter and I have invited past presidents and secretary generals of the association to follow up on the matter.

Any issues affecting the judicial officers, there are established procedures for handling them and we demand that this constitutional process must be obeyed.

I want to, on behalf of the association, make the very following clear and unequivocal demands: we demand the immediate and unconditional release of all the judges abducted from about 9pm yesterday (Friday).

The release must be done immediately and without any conditions. Two, we demand that the Department of State Services should limit itself to its statutory and constitutional responsibilities.

I’ll be meeting with the CJN later tonight (Saturday) or tomorrow (Sunday). There will be consequences should these demands are not met.

8 Comments

  1. xplorenollywood.com

    October 9, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    #Gbam…

  2. Ibex

    October 9, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Gham! he that has ears let him hear

    • chichi

      October 10, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      The government have to fight Naija corruption with iron hand and rough laws. It’s gone beyond order and rules. The corruption is too deep and complex. When it’s done the right way, these politicians and legal professionals find a way to still get away and walk around freely. It’s time to fight the judicial system. Then naijas will complain again, nothing is done. Did you see how many lawyers Saraki hired? they have become more powerful than the government itself. Naija only respond right when we are roughhandled. We can talk about rule of law in a country where there’s order and not as crooked. If you give a warrant to a Nigerian, before you get there they will disappear, hide all their money and so forth. It’s not like we can look around to find them. They will into hiding in another country like Diezani faking cancer, and many like that.

  3. Victor Adegoke

    October 10, 2016 at 9:18 am

    No matter what name,we call it. This is unconstitutional. Attack on Judges by the DSS is wrong,it did not follow the right process.
    You can sack your landlord by getting choice properties in Festac Town,Ibeju-Lekki,Ikorodu,Sango-Otta,Mowe,Abeokuta etc at AFFORDABLE RATES. Contact Segun on 08052467442 for more details.You be glad you did.

  4. ADA

    October 10, 2016 at 10:50 am

    it is very easy to agree with injustice until it gets to your door step. dont give too much power to individuals, humans have a history of abusing power!

  5. Bimbo

    October 10, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    When judges are sentencing goat stealers to 35 years in prison and billionaire thieves like maina to fines and two months imprisonment the NBA keeps quiet !

    • tunmi

      October 10, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      Thank you!!!! The NBA should do its own internal investigation. I hate when entire organizations keep protecting the rotten ones.

  6. GANNY OGUNSHAKIN

    October 10, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    This is insanity on the part of the Federal government of Nigeria. Using members of the DSS to intimidate, harass and rubish some members of the Judiciary. , The federal government should always follow the rule of law when it comes to dealing with any legal matters. ( is Nigeria practicing Demoautocratic system of government? ) or are we in some form of aMilitary rule? ). When the DSS was formed, its primary purpose/ role was not to fight corruption. ( This is like using the Carpenter to do the job of a surgeon ) Both the Federal government and the DSS have overstepped their boundaries. The judges in question were not the only victims of their crimes, their children, wives, maids and other family members. What is the Federal government and the bloody DSS do to restore their confidence in Nigerian government? The DSS should immediately return whatever items they might have seized during this illegal search, arrest and incarceration of these members of the Judiciary. “Nigeria is slowly becoming a Banana State.”

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