The All Progressives Congress has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to put an end to the assault on the judiciary by ordering the immediate withdrawal of the security agents deployed in Ekiti State, to prevent the resumption of the courts as ordered by the National Judicial Commission.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the APC said the act of deploying security agents to prevent the courts from performing their duties amounted to undermining the judiciary and the constitution.
It said, “The Chief Justice of Nigeria, who is the head of the Judiciary, ordered that courts in Ekiti must reopen and that security personnel should do their jobs by providing security. Instead, the security agents were willfully deployed to prevent the courts from opening. This violation flies in the face of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This undemocratic encroachment and erosion portend great danger for our nation and constitute a threat to our democracy.
“The Presidency is not constitutionally in any role able to second guess, override or reverse the Judiciary. Our constitutional democracy recognises separation of powers, and the constitution clearly identifies the scope of each organ’s powers and the head of each branch. This administration’s conduct in frustrating an order of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the NJC is a new low in lawlessness and illegality. The Presidency is implicitly conveying the message that it
is unnecessary to obey the Judiciary. The only result of such conduct is anarchy and chaos”.
The opposition party accused the Presidency of encouraging both the Ekiti State Commissioner of Police and the Brigade Commander to thwart the directives of the NJC by deploying security agents to put the courts under lock and key using the pretext of some phantom security report to justify the action.
According to APC, the entire scenario is simply aimed at ensuring that the courts will not be opened until Governor-elect, Mr. Ayodele Fayose is sworn in.
The statement continued: “The NJC has directed that the case against Fayose, being a pre-election matter, should be completed before he is sworn in on October 16th. The NJC further directed that the same judge that started the matter should complete it, and then asked the Inspector-General of Police to provide adequate security to enable the judge hear and conclude the matter.
“The Presidency is now hiding under a cunningly manufactured security report not to reopen the court until Fayose is sworn in. This is an invitation to chaos. Never in the convoluted political history of Nigeria has a President openly humiliated the judiciary as President Jonathan is doing presently. Having destroyed every national institution, the President has now moved to destroy the judiciary which is the last hope of the common man”.
The party also called on the international community to prevail on the president to stop this assault on democracy, peace, stability, law and order.