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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

FINALLY: Buhari reacts to arrest of judges by DSS, speaks on democracy.

– The presidency has denied that it is attacking the judiciary following th arrest of some judges by the DSS – The president’s spokesperson clarified that the DSS had warrants to arrest the judges – Garba Shehu said the president and the DSS have acted based on the provision of the constitution The presidency has reacted to the clampdown on allegedly corrupt judges by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS). The raid on the judges was carried out in the early hours of Saturday, October 8 in some parts of the country. The arrest of the judges followed a petition that they allegedly received bribes from Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state. It was learnt that the Nigeria Judicial Council (NJC) had knowledge of the DSS action. President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticised for the unprecedented action of the DSS with the Peoples Democratic Party describing the president as a dictator worse that the late General Sani Abacha. However, in a statement Garba Shehu who is the senior special adviser to the president on media and publicity, he said the Buhari was not targDieting the judiciary but clamping down on corruption. He also clarified that search warrants were obtained for the arrest of the allegedly corrupt judges.
Read the statement below:
The Presidency assures that the President reserves his highest respect for the institution of the judiciary as the third arm of government. To this end, the President will not do anything to undermine its independence. President Buhari remains a committed democrat, in words and in his action, and will not take any action in violation of the constitution. The recent surgical operation against some judicial officers is specifically targeted at corruption and not at the judiciary as an institution. In a robust democracy such as ours, there is bound to be a plurality of opinions on any given issue, but there is a convergence of views that the country has a corruption problem that needs to be corrected. But reports by a section of the media are giving us cause for concern. RIt is wrong to present this incident as a confrontation between the executive and judicial arms of government. The Presidency has received assurances from the DSS that all due processes of the law, including the possession of search and arrest warrants were obtained before the searches. To suggest that the government is acting outside the law in a dictatorial manner is to breach the interest of the state. Meanwhile, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa urged the NBA to boycott all the courts in the country due to the overnight invasion of judges’ homes by the DSS. He said: “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 condemnable for the DSS, which is an arm of the executive, to be breathing down on the judicial arm of government, under the guise of fighting corruption. “It is meant to silence the opposition and to cover the inefficiency and cluelessness of this administration,”
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