Sunday, 9 October 2016

Arrest of judges: Descent into Fascism - PDP

Read the statement below...

Sometime in the early hours of October 8th, 2016 men of the  Directorate of State Security (DSS) carried out Gestapo like invasions on the homes of a number of Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria  and the Federal High Court.

The affected Justices of the Supreme Court were, Sylvanus Ngwuta and  Inyang Okoro. The affected Judges of the Federal High Court were Muazu  Pindiga, Adeniyi Ademola, Abdullahi Liman and Nnamdi Dimgba.

At this time, Justices Ngwuta and Okoro of the Supreme Court and  Justices Adeniyi & Pindiga had been abducted and detained. Justice  Dimgba only escaped abduction because he was not at home at the time. Justice Abdullahi’s abduction was prevented by the timely intervention  of Governor Nyesom Wike, who insisted on the observance of the rule of  law and the application of due process.

Governor Nyesome Wike was assaulted by the men of the DSS during his  intervention causing him to sustain injuries on his arm. At a point, an officer pointed a fully cocked gun at him and threatened to shoot  him.

The invasion was carried out between 0100hrs and 0500hrs in the early  morning using hundreds of fully armed men of the DSS. During the  invasion, the Justices were manhandled and members of their families  as well as their household staff beaten up.

This invasion is the latest in a series of actions taken by the  President Muhammadu Buhari administration which reveal its disregard  for the rule of law and its abject disdain for the Principle of  Separation of Powers.

This inexorable slide into fascism began with the invasion of the Akwa  Ibom State Government House by the self same DSS, the continued  detention of several people despite Courts ordering their release, the  invasion of the Ekiti State House of Assembly and detention of Hon.  Akanni Afolabi and the invasion of the Zamfara State House of Assembly.

This slide into fascism has included a sustained attack on the  leadership of the National Assembly as President Buhari has sought to  break its independence and make it a rubber stamp to suit his will.

It is worthy to note that NEVER in the history of our Country has any  President attacked the Judiciary in such a manner. Even the late  dictator - General Sani Abacha, whose regime is remembered by many as  the second worst regime in Nigerian history, did not carry out such  Gestapo style attacks on the members of the Judiciary.

By bringing this attack to the Judiciary, President Buhari has shown  that he has no desire to respect the pillars of our democracy. He has  shown his desire to kill off our democracy and convert it to an  autocracy without checks and balances.

The government has no regard for the rule of law. They do not care  about Court Orders. This Government has disregarded the Orders of the  ECOWAS Court and every other Courts in the land and continue to detain  Dasuki illegally. They continue to detain hundreds of Nigerians  without bringing them to trial and against valid Court Orders.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Constitution in Section 153(1)(i) and  Part 1 of the Third Schedule thereto establishes the National Judicial  Council (NJC) and empowers same to regulate and discipline judges  across the Country. The proper path to follow to discipline erring  judges will be to forward a petition containing any wrong doing to the  NJC along with any evidence in support thereof.

The path not to follow is this Gestapo style invasion in the middle of  the night that involves the use of sledgehammers to breakdown gates  and front doors for DSS to gain access to the homes.

Nigerians can no longer afford to stand aside and watch the Buhari  Administration destroy the foundations of our democracy that we have  built for several years. Nigerians have a duty to speak out against  this sort of tyranny.

God bless Nigeria.


Prince Dayo Adeyeye
National Publicity Secretary

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