– Outspoken youth member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Deji Adeyanju has described the recent abduction-like raid of the homes of some judges shows that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has no respect for the rule of law
– He said Buhari has no respect for the principles of separation of powers and is only interested in using the apparatus of state to harass real and perceived enemies
Outspoken youth member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Deji Adeyanju has described the recent abduction-like raid of the homes of some judges shows that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has no respect for the rule of law, the principles of separation of powers and is only interested in using the apparatus of state to harass real and perceived enemies.
Homes of Justices Walter Onnoghen & Sylvanus Ngwuta of the Supreme Court as well as the homes of Justices Adebiyi Ademola, Muazu Pindiga and Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court was raided by men of the DSS.
Reacting to the development, Adeyanju said it is particularly worrisome that these events are taking place when Yemi Osinbajo, a law professor and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), is the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“These actions are reprehensible, and all well meaning Nigerians – irrespective of tribe, religion or political leanings – must come together to condemn them in their totality before they completely erode the very fabric of our democracy,”he said.
The statement added; “Many will recall the disdain with which President Buhari has spoken about the judiciary and the legal profession in Nigeria. On January 31, 2016 at a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia he told an astounded audience that the judiciary was his main headache in achieving some of his plans. To buttress his point, he cited how the judiciary ruled against him in his previous bids to become President.
“Many will also recall that prior to that comment, on August 13, 2015 at the opening ceremony of the 55th General Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Buhari advocated that lawyers should not represent people accused of corruption, in spite provisions in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that guaranteeing all accused people the right to be represented by a lawyer of their choosing.
“Many will further recall that on July 18, 2016 the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC) organised a conference where speaker after speaker took turns to take umbrage against the judiciary. At the end of that event, PACAC (a body unrecognized by the Constitution) gave out sentencing guidelines it had developed to Judges.
“These acts of intimidation and harassment come on the heels of other such actions that started with the invasion of the Akwa Ibom State Government House in September 2015 by DSS and have gone on to include: the arrest & detention of online journalists and bloggers;
the mass murder of more than 1000 Shiite Muslims; the continuous extra-judicial murder of Nigerian citizens in the South East; the continued detention of several people despite Courts ordering their release; the violation of the principles of separation of powers as enshrined in our Constitution, and the constant refusal to obey orders of Courts,” he said.
He added that before the presidential elections that President Buhari lacked the democratic values to be a democratically elected President of Nigeria.
“He has continuously lived up to his reputation as a despotic, dictatorial leader who views respect for the rule not as the foundation for the existence of a democratic society but as an irritation to be dispensed with by whatever means necessary.
“The events of last night mirror the abduction of Justice Benedict Kiwanuka – the then Chief Justice of Uganda – by the despotic President Idi Amin Dada of Uganda. Students of African history will recall how the abduction of the Justice Kiwanuka by members of the Ugandan state security apparatus from his chambers laid the foundation for a subjugation of the judiciary and aided the perpetuation of one of the most tyrannical regimes in African history.
“Members of the Bench are not above the law and must abide by its provisions at all times. However, our Constitution and other laws provide that erring Judges are to be disciplined within the framework provided by the National Judicial Commission not through Gestapo style abductions in the middle of the night,” the statement read.