The All Progressives Congress (APC) has charged President Goodluck Jonathan to stop his administration’s brazen assault on the judiciary by ordering the immediate withdrawal of the security agents deployed to block the resumption of the courts in Ekiti, as ordered by the National Judicial Commission (NJC), chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the act of deploying security agents to prevent the courts from re-opening as directed by the NJC amounts to undermining the Judiciary and the Constitution.
“The Chief Justice of Nigeria, who is the head of the Judiciary, ordered that courts in Ekiti must re-open and that security personnel should do their jobs by providing security. Instead, the security agents were willfully deployed to prevent the courts from opening. This violation flies in the face of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This undemocratic encroachment and erosion portend great danger for our nation and constitute a threat to our democracy.
“The Presidency is not constitutionally in any role able to second guess, override or reverse the Judiciary. Our constitutional democracy recognizes separation of powers, and the constitution clearly identifies the scope of each organ’s powers and the head of each branch. This administration’s conduct in frustrating an order of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the NJC is a new low in lawlessness and illegality. The Presidency is implicitly conveying the message that it is unnecessary to obey the Judiciary. The only result of such conduct is anarchy and chaos.
“Essentially, the PDP-led Administration of President Jonathan is holding litigants to ransom, preventing and perverting the course of justice, and restricting access to the common man’s last hope. This action is tantamount to arresting a judgment, something the bar and bench consider with the utmost vile,’’ it warned.
APC said the truth of the matter is that it is the Presidency that is encouraging both the Ekiti State Commissioner of Police and the Brigade Commander to thwart the directives of the NJC by deploying security agents to seal the court, under the pretext of some phantom security report.
The party said the entire plot is simply aimed at ensuring that the courts will not be opened until Governor-elect Ayodele Fayose is sworn in.
“The NJC has directed that the case against Fayose, being a pre-election matter, should be completed before he is sworn in on October 16th. The NJC further directed that the same judge that started the matter should complete it, and then asked the Inspector-General of Police to provide adequate security to enable the judge hear and conclude the matter.