The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the recent protest letter by Justices of the Supreme Court to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Mohammed, further confirms the alleged plots by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Government to emasculate the judiciary.
PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon Debo Ologunagba, Thursday alleged that the APC is making a move to foist a fascist system and subvert the will of Nigerians in the 2023 general elections.
It also urged Judges to be firm and not to give in to the APC plots.
According to the party, the failure of the CJN to address the weighty issues contained in the said protest letter reveals that the ruling party, APC, wants to ensure that the Judiciary is stifled and handicapped to deliver on its constitutional duty as an independent arm of government.
PDP described it as outrageous that instead of personally addressing the issues raised, the CJN rather allowed his media aide to respond to the revered Justices of the Supreme Court via a press statement.
According to the party, the CJN’s action shows impunity and utter disregard for the Justices and the Institution of the Judiciary.
The opposition party also claimed that the evidence in the letter manifested the unrelenting intimidation and harassment of judges; the vicious midnight attacks orchestrated and the unlawful removal of judicial officers.
PDP alleged that the APC is desperate to silence judges in Nigeria through the stagnation of judicial infrastructure and operation.
It also blamed the APC-led administration for allegedly staging the invasion of courts to disrupt proceedings in various parts of the country, denying judges the right to a conducive atmosphere to dispense justice and perform their constitutionally assigned roles for which a conducive atmosphere is indispensable.
The statement partly read “this explains why the APC undertook the 2016 midnight raid and arrest of judges including Justices of the Supreme Court; an action which is akin to a declaration of war against the judiciary resulting in the sudden death of some of the judges from emotional trauma and embarrassment.
“Nigerians are reminded about the harassment, intimidation, suspension, illegal and unjust removal from office of the former CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, by the APC, being afraid of his independent mindedness ahead of the 2019 Presidential election.
“Nigerians can also recall the role reportedly played by the APC administration in staging last year’s invasion of the now retired Justice Mary Odili’s home apparently to cause fear in the judiciary ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“It is instructive to recall that the Magistrate who issued the warrant for that dastardly act reportedly averred that he was misled by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.”
PDP also noted that the letter by the Supreme Court Justices is a wake-up call to all Nigerians, particularly the Bar and the Bench, the civil society, organized labour, the media and the International Community to rise to the occasion and rescue the judiciary from the stranglehold of the APC.
It demanded that the CJN immediately and personally address the issues raised by the Justices, especially those that border on allegations of corruption and underhand dealings.