For those expecting the government of President Mohammadu Buhari to back down from the crack down on corrupt judicial officers in the country, the news is that the President is determined to fight the war to its logical conclusion.The presidency in a statement Sunday, disclosed that the recent arrest of some Judicial officers is not a fight against the judiciary as an institution, but an exercise to rid it of corruption. The statement was signed by Mallam Garba Shehu,the spokesman for the President.
Allaying fears of a section of the populace who has called out the government for the rough tactics being used by agents of state, Mallam Shehu, assured that President Buhari is committed to democracy and will not violate the constitution.
According to him,“The presidency assures [Nigerians] that the president reserves his highest respect for the institution of the judiciary as the third arm of government” .
“To this end, the president will not do anything to undermine its independence.
“President Buhari remains a committed democrat, in words and in his action, and will not take any action in violation of the constitution. The recent surgical operation against some judicial officers is specifically targeted at corruption and not at the judiciary as an institution.
“In a robust democracy such as ours, there is bound to be a plurality of opinions on any given issue, but there is a convergence of views that the country has a corruption problem that needs to be corrected.
“But reports by a section of the media are giving us cause for concern. In undertaking the task of reporting, the media should be careful about the fault lines they open.
“It is wrong to present this incident as a confrontation between the executive and judicial arms of government.
“The presidency has received assurances from the DSS that all due processes of the law, including the possession of search and arrest warrants, were obtained before the searches.
Meanwhile, Mr Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria,SAN, said Sunday that members of the legal profession are to blame for what happened to Judicial officers over the weekend. In a widely circulated statement to media houses, the respected senior lawyer said,: “It is a matter of grave concern that the legal profession has allowed the denigration of the hallowed temple of justice because of the misconduct of a few corrupt judges..
“In particular, the Nigerian Bar Association which has information on all corrupt judges and lawyers in the country have continued to shield them to the embarrassment of incorruptible members of the bar and the bench. The few lawyers who have plucked up the courage to expose corrupt judges and lawyers have been stigmatised and treated like lepers by their colleagues.”he concluded.