Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that the Federal Government’s clampdown on judges was aimed at weakening the justice system to lay the ground for the wholesale politicisation of the justice sector in the country.
The governor said the systematic intimidation of the judiciary by the Federal Government had nothing to do with its dubious and much discredited fight against judicial corruption Speaking during the Special Court Session to mark the opening of the 2017/2018 Legal Year, Wike said that the Federal Government was guilty of impunity, threat to rule of law and impartial delivery of Justice.
He said: “The danger in the incremental politicisation of the judiciary has started manifesting in the poor quality of justice from the election tribunals where judges are appointed and directed to execute pre-determined results, and also in the quality of the Court of Appeal, where seniority, proven competence and integrity are blatantly passed over for partisan affiliations in the appointment or elevation of judges to that court.
“When all is said and done, let us not forget that Nigeria is still a nation of laws and not of strong men. While the Federal Government is guilty of impunity, the greatest threat to the rule of law and the independence of our judiciary are the judges who lack the courage to defend our collective rights to an impartial judicial system or compromise their oath sin order to remain in office.”
The governor noted that the present Federal Government operates in denial of the fact that the judiciary is a separate arm of government, which must be unreservedly respected, protected and preserved for the sustainable development of the country.