Judges Arrest May Force Lawyers To Boycott Court Proceedings - LEDAP
The adverse effect of the clampdown on some senior judicial officers in the country by the Department of State Services (DSS) is yet to subside.
In the early hours of Saturday, October 8, 2016, DSS operatives raided the houses of four judges in Abuja.
Also, On Friday, October 7, 2016, security operatives in Gombe state, arrested Justice Muazu Pindiga.
Governor Nyesom Wike foiled the arrest of a Federal High Court judge around 1:00 am on Saturday, in Rivers state.
Following the incidents, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) called on President Buhari to order the DSS to release the judges.
The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has also condemned the actions of the security agency, saying it is an interference on the independence of the judiciary.
LEDAP called on all lawyers to boycott the courts next week from Monday, October 10 to Friday, October 14, 2016.
The group also called for the matter to be investigated by the Federal Government, adding that the officers involved should be punished.
According to the spokesman for LEDAP, Chino Obiagwu, “It is to the detriment of the Bar and Bench in Nigeria for the security agencies to make spurious allegations and illegally try judges in the pages of newspapers.
“It raises wrong and unjustified public perception of the justice system, and impugns on public confidence in justice and governance.”
Obiagwu also said “It was wrong to execute improperly issued and illegally executed search warrants at night on judges, and in any event, without prior recourse to the head of the judiciary.
“The constitutional principle of separation of powers is sacrosanct and once eroded, will drive Nigeria to a tyranny.”
The DSS, in a statement said the judges are being investigated for corruption, adding that various incriminating documents and money were recovered from their homes during the raids.