By Chimezie Godfrey
An NGO, the Center for Peace building and Social Economic Resources Development (CePSERD) has called for an end to assault on Nigerian Judiciary by agencies of the executive branch of government in Nigeria.
In a statement, the Executive Director, CePSERD, Ayokunle Fagbemi lamented that it is now a worrisome development that agents and agencies of the executive branch of the Nigerian-state keep encroaching on the judicial branch unabated.
He said they have equally observed with grave concerns that some of the encroachment often occur during, about or after when the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) National Conferences are held.
Fagbemi noted that the most recent incident being the siege and trespass on the residence of Hon. Justice Mary Odili (JSC) on Friday, October 29, 2021 by yet to be properly accounted for agents of state with a “search warrant”.
He therefore urged all stakeholders of the Nigerian project to make effort to put an end to the ugly development.
“This ugly development comes five years after operatives of the State Security Service equally encroached on the residences of over a dozen federal judges, including three of the Supreme Court at the time. Some of the judges have since died, with their family members alleging that their health deteriorated following the emotional trauma suffered after the raids.
“All stakeholders of the Nigerian project must concert efforts to put an end to this ugly situation in the interest of national security, rule of law and democratic sustenance.
“We therefore call upon the incumbent President C-in-C to issue appropriate presidential direction to put an end to suchlike occurrences.
“The NASS through the leadership and emphatically the relevant Committees on Judiciary, Security/Intelligence and Police along with those on Human Rights to emerge with legislative oversight roles that shall put an end to this ugly trend;
“The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President and National Executive Council to conduct required inquest to enable the association take appropriate remedial steps to mitigate and transform issues,” he stated.
The CePSERD Executive Director also requested that the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC) investigate the authenticity and circumstances around the issuing of the “search warrant” purportedly executed to encroach on the residence of JSC Odili.
He equally urged civil society actors, organizations and international development partners to commence initiatives and advocacy activities to achieve required paradigm shift from the ugly trend.