The names of Justice Sidi Dauda Bage and Justice Paul Adamu has been sent by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerian Senate for confirmation as Justices of the Supreme Court.
The two names were included in a letter which President Buhari sent to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki which was read on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, October 11. Announcing the recent development, the Nigerian Senate wrote on its Twitter handle:
— Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) October 11, 2016
This twist in events is playing out just three days after operatives of the Department of State Security Services, DSS, acting on the orders of President Buhari raided the homes of seven federal judges, including two Supreme Court justices- Walter Onnoghen and Sylvester Ngwutaon, on Saturday, October 8, 2016.
The judges were arrested by the secret police and reportedly released on bail by “self-recognition” the next day. The midnight raids on the judiciary by the presidency has been widely condemned in Nigeria and across the continent.
Based on the fact that Justice Onnoghen has been recommended by the National Judicial Council (NJC) as the next chief justice of Nigeria, Charles Novia, a Nigerian social commentator and essayist analysed his arrest on his social media platform writing:
“Now they are showing their true colours. Now the real impunity in their agenda begins. Now, they are using the security agencies to harass the Judiciary. This has never been heard of in a democracy in Nigeria!
“And why the raid on the next Chief Justice of Nigeria, who’s supposed to take the seat in a few weeks? Don’t these people want a Southerner to head the Supreme Court? Is it another religious agenda?
“These are salient questions.
“And you know what their excuse will be? That the Justices are corrupt. That they have proof that they are corrupt. So, they go after the next Chief Justice of Nigeria from the South and add a few more Justices so as to hide the real motives of ensuring that a Southerner should not be the head of the Judiciary. It’s all clear to the discerning.
“These things I expected and spoke about before the elections but those who love cutting their noses to spite their faces decided to blight us with these aberrations. Bola Tinubu, you do well.
“Welcome to the New Police State of Nigeria.
Now, it looks like Mr. Novia’s prediction is turning out to be true because the two new Supreme Court Justice nominees are of northern extraction.