The National Conscience Party, NCP, watch with amazement and utter disgust the events that unfolded within the past days in Nigeria, though we are not in any way surprised by the turn of events. We are not surprised because we have consistently warned of the insincerity of this inept and pretentious APC regime and the script been played now only confirms our position about this regime and the fact that nothing has fundamentally changed for the better.
We cannot but condemn in the strongest term the crudity, barbarism and hypocrisy in the arrest and detention of five judicial officers on Saturday 8th of October 2016 by the Department of State Security, DSS, under the instructions of the Gen Muhammadu Buhari APC regime under the guise of fighting corruption in the judiciary. We are not up to discuss the technicalities, the legality or illegality of the arrest, detention, search and invasion of privacy of the persons involved, what we considered most important is the exposure of the real intentions of this regime based on the facts and why there is a cause for worry.
We assert that what happened over the weekend was nothing but a deceitful adventure that has nothing to do with really fighting corruption in the judiciary an any way, rather, it is nothing but a plot to intimidate thejudiciary as a whole, deal brutally on some judges that do not readily bend to this regime’s whims and caprices, create more confusion in the public and divert attention away from the numerous shortcoming and abysmal failures of this regime to prepare ground to install stooges or persons who would do the bidding of this regime into the judiciary.
First, a regime that is plotting to selloff public assets, that has refused to take action on the issue of corruptly padded budget, that refused to do anything about the massive hunger in the land, that has refused to act on the issue of the houses of the chief of army staff in Dubai,that close its eyes to allegation of corruption against the likes of Babatunde Fashola, Rotimi Amaechi or that overlooked the use over 270 million naira in cutting grass at the IDP camp just to mention a few, to our mind does not have the moral standing to claim that it is fighting corruption in any sector. In fact, the corruption in the presidency today is monstrous, as scores of billionaires are been created overnight within their closed circles. The allegations of corruption against key officers of this regime have been mounting by the day and the regime is doing nothing about it.
In addition, the intra party conflicts within the APC itself have further exposed the real face of this regime.
Second, that the Nigerian judicial system is hopelessly corrupt and for the rich, just like presidency, the police, army, customs, immigrations, FRSC etc. is no news.The question is what has the APC regime concretely done since it came to power to address this question, the answer is NOTHING. The Buhari regime has no plan apart from propaganda, cheap talk and blackmail, and it also wants to use the judiciary to do its bidding of attacking the regime’s perceived enemies, attack agitators and the masses. The judiciary remains the property of the super-rich under this regime.
Third, is the fact that some of the judges involved are the sitting judges in several legal suits involving the government and Buhari APC interests over the past sixteen months - the Dasuki and IPOB cases, Buhari’s certificate and affidavit saga etc. And they have been ruling against the regime!
Fourth, is the fact that some of the judges involved already have cases pending in the National Judicial Council, NJC. What the law says are the primary functions of the NJC, police, EFCC and ICPC are clear. Therefore, the use of the DSS is quite suspicious and reflects desperation. It is nothing more than trying to intimidate.
The arguments of using the DSS don’t add up in any way. They can be applied to justify the use of the Nigeria Customs or the Prisons to investigate murder.
To us, when the ruling party and elites can no longer obey their own laws, it confirms not only deep crises but also the fact that things are bound to get worse so long they remain in power.
To us, after all the hullaballoo around the arrest of the judges and the media drama and trial that began immediately, one would have expected that by the following Monday or by now the judges would have be charged to court but that is not what happened. They were all released on personal recognition from DSS custody and as we speak there is no evidence that they would be charged.
To us the entire episode is nothing but a farce and a reflection that this regime is getting more desperate as it continues to fail on all fronts. This regime wants to get more dictatorial and fascist in order to silence to opposition and mass revolt.
We totally support the positions of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, and other mass organization that are standing up to this regime. It is clear that only mass actions can contain the numerous atrocities of this regime.
Finally, corruption in the judiciary like in all sectors of Nigeria body polity has to be confronted, but in doing so we cannot give blanket support to DSS or any security agency to brutalize people unnecessarily, intimidate, violate fundamental human rights and civil liberties, and such actions must be holistic not a witch-hunt and not partial.
One of the most fanatical supporters of the then Ribadu-led EFCC was our founder and mentor, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAM, SAN, but when the then IG, Tafa Balogun was forcefully handcuffed to the court, Gani in an angry letter to Obasanjo on April 5,2005 said, ’It was clearly needless and absolutely unnecessary for EFCC or the Nigeria Police to handcuff the accused – the former Inspector General of Police in view of section 34(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I personally condemn this degrading treatment….I hope that henceforth, the EFCC, ICPC, and the Nigeria Police will respect these laws that govern the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizen where they are accused either inside or outside the courts’’ The EFCC subsequently apologized! We stand by this legacy unrepentantly!!
National General Secretary
National Conscience Party