A Human Rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of suppressing the judiciary and humiliating Nigerian judges. The Ramon Oladimeji Human Rights lawyer, who leveled this allegation, had on Wednesday, called on the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to direct all lawyers in the country to stay away from the courts until the president gave his commitment to uphold the rule of law.
Adegboruwa described the president’s insistence on detaining former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and the leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu as a slap on the faces of Nigerian Judges. He said that it was high time the Nigerian Bar Association directed all the lawyers in the country to stay away from the courts until there is change in the president’s dictatorial pattern.
The lawyer claimed that Buhari’s government was laying ground for a state of anarchy by emboldening security agents to shun court orders. He also expressed fear that lawyers would be run out of business if the people finally lose confidence in the courts.
According to Punch Newspapers, the lawyer said:
“If the President, during a Presidential media chat, can state clearly that he will not release a person granted bail by a court because he suspects that the person will jump bail because of the avalanche of evidence, then we should close down the courts. There is no need approaching the court any longer.
“The NBA should do more than a press conference; I call on the President of the NBA to rise up and confront the executive; we should fight for the judges; we shouldn’t allow the judges to be treated in such humiliating manner, whereby their orders have become useless to the executive.”
“We, as lawyers, have that responsibility because the court is our workshop. If the courts are no longer functioning lawyers cannot earn money. And it is our duty to cry out. It is our responsibility to come to the aid of the judiciary, which has no voice, because we can’t hear judges, they can’t talk, the NBA is supposed to speak for them.
“So, I am calling on Mr. Alegeh, the President of the NBA, to step up the game; let’s declare a strike; let the lawyers boycott the court until there is manifest commitment from the executive to obey court orders.”
The lawyer also called on Justice Mahmud Mohammed who is the chief Justice Of the Federation, to take control of what he referred to as ‘conflicting judgments’ coming from the Court of Appeal in respect of the election petitions, especially in the case of Rivers State.
He also said that justice Mahmud should use the appeals pending before the Supreme Court, in the cases of Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Taraba states, to correct the seeming confusion created by the decisions of the lower courts. He said failure to get hold of the system, would also occasion loss of integrity, respect and confidence in the court and might take Nigeria back to the dark days of political assassinations.
“By now, we should have a settled principle of law in relation to election petitions, as we have in land cases, in matrimonial cases, in chieftaincy cases, etc. We cannot be shifting judicial principles and precedents to suit the whims and caprices of politicians, or to accommodate political interests,” Adegboruwa said.
Meanwhile, President Buhari, in the maiden media chat held on Wednesday, December 30, 2015, said that those responsible for serious offences against the county cannot be granted temporary freedom because they could take advantage of it and jump bail. In other words, the president claimed that the severity of their crimes did not permit their release.