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The Peoples Democratic Party has lampooned the All Progressives Congress-led administration over its alleged plot to emasculate the Nigerian judiciary.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, stated the party’s position in a statement, in Abuja, on Thursday.
The party’s position was informed by a protest letter written by Justices of the Supreme Court against their Chief Justice of the Federation and the alleged attempt to throw the weighty allegations contained in the petition under the carpet.
Ologunagba said, “The protest letter by Justices of the Supreme Court to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Mohammed, further confirms the furtive plots by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Government to emasculate the judiciary in a bid to foist a fascist system and subvert the Will of Nigerians in the 2023 general elections.
“The failure of the CJN to address the weighty issues contained in the said protest letter reveals that there is a systemic design by the APC-government to ensure that the Judiciary is stifled and handicapped to deliver on its constitutional duty as an independent arm of government.
“Our Party holds as outrageous that instead of personally addressing the issues raised, the CJN rather allowed his media aide to respond to the revered Justices of the Supreme Court via a press statement in a manner that shows impunity and utter disregard to the Justices and the Institution of the Judiciary.
“The evidence of this systemic emasculation of the Judiciary is manifest in the unrelenting intimidation and harassment of judges; the vicious midnight attacks, orchestrated and unlawful removal of judicial officers and disabling of the independence of the judiciary by the APC administration.“
He further said, “The plots by the APC to cripple the operations of the Supreme Court as uncovered in the conditions described by the Supreme Court Justices confirm a malicious design by APC leaders to subvert our judicial system so as to cover their atrocities against Nigerians.
“It is clear that the APC is desperate to silence judges in Nigeria through the stagnation of our judicial infrastructure and operation, staging the invasion of courts to disrupt proceedings in various parts of our country, denying judges of the rights to a conducive atmosphere to dispense justice and perform their constitutionally assigned roles for which a conducive atmosphere is indispensable.
“This explains why the APC undertook the 2016 midnight raid and arrest of judges including Justices of the Supreme Court; an action which is akin to a declaration of war against the judiciary resulting in the sudden death of some of the judges from emotional trauma and embarrassment.
“Nigerians are reminded about the harassment, intimidation, suspension, illegal and unjust removal from office of the former CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, by the APC, being afraid of his independent-mindedness ahead of the 2019 Presidential election.
“Nigerians can also recall the role reportedly played by the APC administration in staging the last year’s invasion of the now retired Justice Mary Odili’s home apparently to instill fear in the judiciary ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“It is instructive to recall that the Magistrate who issued the warrant for that dastardly act reportedly averred that he was misled by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.“
The main opposition party noted that the letter by the Supreme Court Justices is a wake-up call to all Nigerians, particularly the Bar and the Bench, the Civil Society, Organized Labour, the media and the International Community to rise to the occasion and rescue our judiciary from the stranglehold of the APC.
The party’s Spokesman further said, “Our Party therefore demands that the CJN immediately and personally address the issues raised by the Justices especially those that border on allegations of corruption and underhand dealings.
“The CJN must not by any means sweep these weighty allegations and issues under the carpet.
“This is the only way to assure Nigerians that the judiciary under the CJN Tanko Mohammed is indeed the hope of the common man in the impartial dispensation of justice. “
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