Outrage as Buhari begins crackdown on judges

Posted by News Express | 8 October 2016 | 2,335 times

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Outrage has for the better part of today greeted the over-might raid of the residences of selected judges across the country by the Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services (DSS). Activists, lawyers, journalists and ordinary citizens have voiced out concern what they describe as creeping dictatorship by the Muhammadu Buhari administration, which has repeatedly accused the judiciary of frustrating its war against graft. Below are some of the reactions as sourced from the Facebook walls of the various concerned citizens:  

Denja Yaqub: The stage is stage managed when due process is ignored.

For sure, the Nigerian judiciary, like all other arms of government is filthy, corrupt and a potent obstacle to any battle against corruption.

But, corruption deepens when due process is either ignored or weak or nonexistent.

However, in any of such circumstance, Gestapo style arrests of anyone, including judges, is not the way to go.

Am still wondering if it is correct to arrest a suspect before investigation.

I need some factual enlightenment here.

Justus Uche Ijeoma: Some people still seem not to understand the dangers in pulling down the walls of the established principles of rule of law and separation of powers, particularly in a democratic setting such as ours. They would rather want to hide under the flimsy facade of fighting corruption to demolish the foundation of our constitutional institutions. I do not see any justification whatsoever in the DSS invading the houses of serving judges at the hour of the blue law to arrest them, in such a manner as being reported in the media. The judiciary is an arm of government that has an oversight body, NJC, which is saddled with the responsibility of punishing their errant members. This duty has been, to a large extent, discharged satisfactorily, as evidenced in the recent sack of three judges. The act of the DSS can rightly be construed as an overt intimidation of the judges, so as to have them do the bidding of the executive. If this succeeds, then we are all in trouble.

Richard Akinnola II: Lest l am misunderstood, l am not against the fight against corruption in the Bench. I can never be. No doubt, there is corruption in the judiciary. What l am against is the method employed by the security operatives.

If this is true, some of us who have been supporting this government, would have no choice but to be the opposition. This is rabid dictatorship and an affront on the judiciary. I had said so previously and l reiterate again, this current DSS leadership would be the albatross of this government, the same way Alhaji Rafindadi became a loose canon and turned the then NSO into the Ton Ton Macoute of Nigeria. The next target is the media. So, journalists, watch out.

Madunagu Emeka: Nigerian federal judges under threat as security agents target them for abduction. Nigeria has now become like Turkey.

Okah Ewah Edede: Judges can be arrested but only after they have been de-robed by the National Judicial Council (NJC). It is a show of tyranny for any President to order the Police and DSS to go against the dictates of established laws and abduct a serving Justice in the middle of the night.

A forage into the archival portfolio of history will reveal that only dictators and tyrants attacked the Judiciary in such manner. Idi Amin Dada arrested, kidnapped and murdered serving Judges. Mobutu Sese Seko did same. Our Baghdad Bob Saddam Hussein did likewise. Adolf Hitler delighted in using the same tactics against the Judiciary. Josef Stalin experienced ecstasy over such maneuver. Sani Abacha loved caging the noisome Judiciary via such brutal show of power abuse, and toady, Buhari is adopting the same Baghdad Bob strategy cum modus operandi.

Dictators strive and succeed when the populace lose their conscience to mass hypnotism, propaganda, disinformation and sentiments. Today, some are applauding the attack on the Judges without realizing that once the Judiciary has been cowed, and with the media already bought, no one will remain to fight for their rights. Then will it dawn on them that they have sold themselves to slavery but it would be a regret and awakening in futility because it would already be too late then.

Nigeria’s economy is gone; the media has been pocketed and the opposition silenced. Only the Judiciary is remaining as a bulwark against tyranny and full-blown dictatorship. We must not allow the Judges to be intimidated and conquered. We must help prevent this nation from sauntering leisurely into Byzantine tyranny by aiding the Judges in stymieing this gleeful waltz into absolute dictatorship by the Octogenarian Baghdad Bob in the Rock of Aso.

Source: News Express

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