'We are not in 1984' - SANs condemn DSS crackdown on judges | Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper

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The Federal Government should know that this is not 1984. By 1984, I refer to that year and the dystopian novel written by George Orwell on dictatorship.


 Nigeria is a country ruled by law and even for the worst of crimes, we must follow the process of law. If we don’t, we will end up like Uganda under the autocrat, Idi Amin. We cannot bear such oppression. So, whatever the DSS is doing must be in line with the dictates of the law. Under no circumstance should they try to invade a judge’s residence at 9 or 10pm, wielding weapons and wearing masks. It is totally deplorable. It is abhorrent and what we must all know is that they are infringing on the rights of people. The courts exist for a reason. This system of law enforcement seems to be discriminatory, whimsical and contrary to the rule of law. It won’t get us anywhere as a country. It is the worst form of corruption you can think of. It is not right. In Pakistan, the chief judge of the country decided that since the military government was not obeying the law, there was no point in the courts carrying on and it became a flashpoint in that country.— Dr. Kanyinsola Ajayi (SAN)

Courts should go on indefinite strike

I read with great amazement and total disbelief, the news of the invasion of the homes of judicial officers in Port Harcourt and in Abuja, by the executive arm of government through the Department of State Services.



As judges have no voices to speak officially, I call on the Nigerian Bar Association to declare an indefinite strike so that all courts of law in Nigeria will be boycotted until there is respect for the rule of law and the Constitution. This should commence from Monday, October 10, 2016, until further notice.

This is full blown dictatorship now in action. It is now a case of anarchists in power. The clampdown on judges has been on for a long time, through agents of government in the various institutions of oppression. We are now back to the 1984 jackboot system of intolerance, where all dissenting views and opinions must be silenced.

It is now clear, without any shadow of doubt, that the so-called anti-corruption war is a hidden agenda to perpetuate the president in office beyond 2019. It is meant to silence the opposition and to cover the inefficiency and cluelessness of this administration.

In a democracy, the rule of law prescribes the independence of the judiciary, whereby judges must be allowed the unfettered right of taking decisions, according to law and according to their consciences.

It is in this regard that the invasion of the homes of judges by the DSS is totally condemnable. It should never happen that the executive is indirectly threatening and intimidating members of the third estate of the realm.

The judiciary is the arm that stabilises democracy and should not be exposed to ridicule in the manner that the DSS is currently doing.— Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, lawyer

There must be sanity in the system

There are ways of effecting arrests. The one I remember recently is where the National Judicial Council, that is responsible for the discipline and appointment of judges, referred a particular judge to the EFCC or the police for arrest. For me, that is a tidier way of doing things.

We operate constitutional democracy; the constitution is sovereign and has a binding effect on all persons and authorities. There is also what is called judicial immunity. As such, if the judicial immunity should be broken for the purpose of effecting an arrest, what is appropriate in this instance is that the National Judicial Council would be notified of the intention, in terms of the report leading to the dismissal or removal of the judge, and then an arrest can be effected.

What happened is unconstitutional; it is actually a rape and desecration of the Nigerian constitution. Quite frankly, this is not a banana republic. Due process must be followed.

While we cannot continue to shield people who are corrupt, I think we should follow due process. There is nowhere in the world where such an action would be condoned. If you must effect the arrest of an executive judge, there are ways of going about it. If a judicial officer makes a pronouncement that one is not comfortable with, if one has evidence that the judicial officer has been compromised, there is a way to go about it. The National Judicial Council is responsible for the discipline and removal of judges.

Judges should boycott court hearings because of what happened. This is nothing but an encroachment on the powers of the judicial council. If a judge is corrupt, as alleged, the NJC is responsible. Recently, some judges have been recommended for dismissal, and some were asked to lose their promotion. There are certain things the NJC has put in place.

There are three arms of government; the executive, legislature and the judiciary. Findings have been made. If there is a report, they should submit it to the NJC, monitor what the outcome will be and see what the NJC would do. The judiciary is responsible for cleaning its stable.

If the judiciary is independent, there must be sanity in the system. Some years ago, the late Justice Abdulkadir Jega, when he was still sitting as a judge in Ilorin, made a pronouncement that the government wasn’t comfortable with. Owing to this, his police orderly was withdrawn. And then the bar rose up to support his position and his orderly was restored. How can we continue like this? This is not a military system, this is a constitutional democracy.— Mr. Norrison Quakers (SAN)

Arrests irregular, bizarre

It is an irregular and bizarre situation. It is unheard of. The hour the invasion was allegedly done (1am) in the wee hours of the morning is uncalled for. No arrest should be executed in the middle of the night, especially in a country where we know that all kinds of people are running around to kidnap, rob and kill people. I think this is a condemnable act. I have to say that if there is an allegation against a judge, the first thing to do is to invite the judge for interrogation and if the judge refuses, then you can begin to make an arrest of the judge if it is a criminal offence. But nobody should execute an arrest warrant or a search warrant at 1am. So, it is very condemnable. Judges render essential services because they secure the liberty of the citizens of this country just as the courts are instituted to secure the liberty of the citizens. We need to get to the root of this and find out who authorised this raid and why such a person did so. Due process must always be followed in every law enforcement process.— Mr. Onueze Okocha (SAN)

Arrests are wrong

Whether one is a judge or not, everybody deserves his peace and liberties. So, the DSS should not have gone to arrest anybody, whether a judge or not, without evidence that such a person had committed an offence. I am saying this not because they are judges, but because they are also citizens of Nigeria. They must have committed an offence or maybe there is a warrant of arrest for such a person to be arrested. But without such evidence, of committing offences worth being arrested for, be he a citizen, the DSS and others have no right to do that, not to talk of a judge.

If a court is handling a case and the government is not happy about it, the right thing to do is to appeal. As for the report on the blocking of the court premises, there is no reason to do so on a Saturday when the court is not sitting. Unless the DSS operatives have security reports that the judge is harbouring criminals or harbouring documents related to the security of the nation. But otherwise, it is not right for any organ of government to do that.— Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN)

The media is next

I am not surprised. I am rather surprised that some Nigerians are still surprised. Some of us warned, wrote, preached and talked. But, we were ignored due to political partisanship. A leopard cannot change its spots. It started with political opponents and the opposition. Some of us cried out. Then, they moved against some very senior and well-respected lawyers. Some clapped. They said it was anti-corruption. We cried out. It extended quickly to the National Assembly, another arm of government. Many described the government as tough, no-nonsense and anti-corruption-inclined. Some of us warned. Now, it is the judiciary. Up to the very apex court of the land, the Supreme Court, has been targeted and is now being intimidated and humiliated.

Virtually all the judges are southerners. My prediction is that the media will be the next. The recent onslaught against the judiciary signals great danger to our democracy, freedom, human rights, independence of the judiciary and the doctrine of separation of powers as espoused in 1748 by the great French philosopher, Baron De Montesquieu.

We are supposed to be operating a constitutional democracy, not military dictatorship or tyrannical absolutism. Governor Wike was almost shot dead by fully armed DSS operatives. His “offence” was that he came to rescue a Federal High Court judge who was being abducted. Other serving judges, who would ordinarily respond to a mere phone call, are being humiliated and rounded up in the ungodly hours of the night, like common criminals.— Mr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN)

Culled from Punch

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  1. Even the so called referee of democracy is living in 1984 totally .surveillance cameras everywhere, accessing citizens emails,( which led to Edward snowden whistle blowing),soon gun control laws shall be passed too,martial law is already covertly been implemented in the USA.

    Anybody seen as an enemy or threat to USA can and will be detained indefinitely,find out about the NDAA bill.

    Hence ,your argument that Nigeria is not 1984 is futile.You cannot be stealing and practicing corruption and won't be snooped on in any advanced society including USA .

    Conform and do the right things ,don't steal,be obedient to government and you will be fine.

    Thinking is not illegal yet ,just like writing this your piece is still not illegal,enjoy these freedom now because soon they also will be taken.

    1984 is a manual used today by the USA ,and sadly every nation of the world must conform to standards set by america.So wake up

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pls, there are procedures that must be followed.

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    2. Procedures my foot.america did not follow any procedures in snooping into citizens private account and certainly did not consider the so called freedom of expression that they preach when they embarked on a manhunt for Edward snowden.
      Government's can override procedures.to conform is always better..the judiciary should avoid corruption

      Delete
    3. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/03/opinion/beale-1984-now/

      The whole world is already in 1984 ,face the reality

      Delete
  2. Nigeeians are now nothing before after voting for u abi.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Crown evil and it wil rule everyoneEnter your comment...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hahahaha! This is rule of law at its best under democracy. When people raised alarm those hungry and desperate for power were carrying broom up and down. Now the chicken has come back to roost. When some public servants build mansions worth billions of dollars, it is not a proceed of corruption. Hahahaha! APC government has returned Nigeria to the era of early men when might was right- the justice system in the jungle. This is when hunger starvation and hopelessness brought about by this useless clueless and incompetent APC government.
    Change dole!
    Sai Baba!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The underlying issue is the judiciary is undeniably corrupt..and has been for years. Kudos to Buhari

    Concerned Nigerian citizen

    ReplyDelete
  6. The underlying issue is the judiciary is undeniably corrupt..and has been for years. Kudos to Buhari

    Concerned Nigerian citizen

    ReplyDelete
  7. For your information buhari is not evil.what is evil are judges collecting bribe and pervating justice .Allow buhari do his job .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So mr allow buhari to do his job,how will this case go???will they all be shot dead??or will they still be tried in the same court rooms been intimidated now...and who told you it's the work of buhari and his foolish DSS to arrest judges...what then happens to the doctrine of seperation of power...is the judiciary not another arm of govt??please think before you talk...we all know what is happening here...they are rounding up judges that do not give them favourable judgements...we all know Justice adeniyi ademola never dances to there tune...why did you not see the name of Justice okon Abang here..people like you just choose to deceive themselves...we are back to 1984,and it's a pity,after everything that was done to protect this young democracy...smh..

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    2. Lol.let me reiterate maybe you cant read well,1984 is inevitable!!the global world is in 1984 and it will get worse.its a matrix no one can escape ,so face reality.

      You said justice adeniyi ademola does not dance to their tone..imagine that bias statement coming from you.should justice adeniyi pass wrong judgements in favor of criminals just because he wants to go against the federal government?

      Or should he act independently of his emotions and the influence of state?

      Deliberately going against the government is corruption especially if the government has evidence and it's the work of the justice to prove and void such evidences objectively.Not engaging in a face up with the government its supposed to serve.. From ur opinion justice adeniyi is biased and corrupt if he will pass wrong judgements just because he is anti buhari.

      Delete
    3. You are still deliberately missing the point here...anyway that's your business...

      Delete
    4. Separate your emotions from the facts and you will see that I understand you clearly.its called comprehension in English...I totally got your point wella. I personally think you should google up the term cognitive dissonance.. That's the reason you find it hard looking at my own view objectively. Anyway here is a link for you below.the whole world is already in 1984 ,do the right thing and government won't bug you!

      https://www.naij.com/1001469-like-dss-like-fbi-3-times-us-judges-arrested-corruption-photos.html

      Delete
  8. Nigeria will be in a worse state if the corrupt activities of our judges are not put to check.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's the duty of the NJC...please tell me...

      Delete
    2. Mr know it all.tell us.crusader

      Delete
  9. How can a case be in court for mnths and years. Despite all d privileges and benefits accorded to d so-called judges, they do nothing.

    So it's simple. How can you fight corruption legally with a corrupt judiciary. The executive has to interfere. I don't know if d constitution covered dat.

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  10. We are in a deep shit now. We all confirm the existence of the cankerworm called corruption. We want to destroy it through legal process but the referee in the judiciary arm of Govt is badly affected by this same disease. Who will clean us?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Buhari will!! If only corruption,corrupt pple and ignorant pple will surrender and allow him do his work

    ReplyDelete
  12. Its a pity that we used our own hands to take Nigeria back to 1984.If i may ask, where will Buhari get people to replace those that are being removed fior corruption? Will he import them from the moon? What this regime is doing is the wrise of all corruption. Raping our constitution and dsiplaying outright disregard for the rule of law. I only hope that APC will not kill our nascent demoncracy before 2019.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://www.naij.com/1001469-like-dss-like-fbi-3-times-us-judges-arrested-corruption-photos.html

      Delete

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