Late night raid of judges’ homes tantamount to armed robbery —Intersociety
Posted by News Express | 9 November 2016 | 1,963 times
The International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has reiterated its condemnation of the late night raid of homes of serving Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justices and Judges of the Court of Appeal and Federal High Court, and their subsequent arrest by operatives of the DSS, describing the action as undemocratic and catastrophic.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman of the society in a statement issued on Tuesday in Onitsha, declared that the action of the DSS “not only amounts to late night armed robbery, burglary and abduction, but is also democratically disastrous and constitutionally catastrophic,” stressing that “All efforts by the Buhari Administration and the National Judicial Council led by retiring CJN, Hon. Mahmud Mohammed to justify the illegalities or probate and reprobate; are totally dead on arrival and efforts in futility.”
While admitting “that a corrupt Judge, morally speaking, is worse than a violent mad man running amok with a sharp dagger in a crowded market place; catching the same corrupt Judge or roping in innocent others for political vendetta; without strictly following laid down procedures; is as bad as being a corrupt Judge; and a horrendous crime against the society, the victim and the constitution (1999 Constitution and its subsidiaries). Rescuing the Judiciary from further bastardization by the Buhari Administration is therefore a major task or challenge facing the incoming Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).”
Umeagbalasi recalled that operatives of the SSS had in the late night of 7th of October 2016, “unlawfully, magisterially and violently raided the dwelling homes of serving Justices Sylvester Ngwuta Nwali and John Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and Hon Justices Ademola Adeniyi and Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division. The violent late night raid was also carried out in the dwelling home of Hon. Justice Mauzu Pindiga of the Gombe State High Court.
“As at the time of these violent raids, none of these Judges was under any criminal investigation in Nigeria or any part thereof. The only exception is that of Hon Justice Mauzu Pindiga of the Gombe State High Court. Hon. Justice Pindiga had been having a running battle with the authorities of the SSS, whom he had earlier in the year (2016), openly accused of attempts to intimidate and influence him to derail from his sworn duty of being a serving Judge, as it concerns the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which he headed, but was politically removed and replaced.
“He later spoke publicly and revealed how he was commanded and summoned by the SSS to ‘appear before it in connection with a matter he handled in Kaduna in 2009’ and that the said communications between him and the said SSS officials took place while he was serving as the chairman of the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal; linking his political removal to his refusal to be influenced and intimidated from performing his job as a serving Judge.”