‘You’re partisan, you can’t be watchdog of judiciary’ — Keyamo tackles NLC



Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour and employment, says the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) cannot be a watchdog over the judiciary because it is partisan.


The minister said this in response to comments credited to Joe Ajaero, president of the NLC.


The NLC president had said that organised labour and civil society would create a “hall of shame” for judges that compromise election tribunals.


Commenting late on Monday, Keyamo said the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) should caution lawyers not to be allowed to be used against the judiciary.

“The only constitutional watchdog over the judiciary and judicial officers is the National Judicial Council,” he said.


“It negates the very foundation of one of the principles of natural justice for a party to a case or its sympathizers and/or supporters to say they are constituting themselves as ‘watchdogs’ over the umpire (the judiciary) which is to decide case(s) in which they have an interest.


“That principle of natural justice is nemo judex in causa sua – no person can be a judge in a case in which they have an interest.


“All counsel involved in these election petitions must also caution their clients not to tacitly or directly promote or encourage such behaviour that seek to threaten or intimidate our revered Justices. The Tribunals and Courts should decide these cases devoid of any kind of intimidation from any of the parties and their supporters.”


The minister said members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) should be calm and respect the judiciary.


“Any attempt to destroy the judiciary (as these characters are bent on doing) is an invitation to another ‘Sudan’,” he said.


“Well, just as they often issue the empty boast that they are a different ‘movement’ and the judiciary should not ‘mess’ with them, they will soon realise that the judiciary is also a different kind of institution with which they cannot ‘mess’.” 

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