THE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has warned that growing attacks on judges by litigants dissatisfied with their rulings may eventually cow them (judges) and destroy the judiciary, if allowed to persist.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said ‘danger looms the moment a judge can no longer feel safe enough to perform his duty because of the fear of being attacked by litigants’.
It said a classical example of such attacks is the one that has been mounted by the PDP, with the backing of the presidency, against Justice Ayo Salami, simply because he courageously adjudicated in the election appeal cases involving Ekiti and Osun states.
The statement read in part: ‘The latest of such attacks is the move initiated by former Ekiti State’s governor, Segun Oni, to compel the prosecution of Justice Ayo Salami for alleged perjury, which has led an Abuja High Court in Bwari to grant Oni leave to apply for an order of mandamus compelling the Attorney-General to commence criminal proceedings against Justice Salami’.
‘The move by Oni is nothing but a continuation of the persecution of Justice Salami and, coming after a panel set up by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, recommended his reinstatement because he was unjustly removed, is aimed at frustrating the recommendation of the panel’.
‘We are concerned because the PDP’s mortal fear of a courageous judge is pushing it to destroy an innocent man, and in the process bring down the judiciary that many agree has generally availed itself creditably since our country’s return to democratic governance in 1999,’ it added.
ACN wondered why heavens must fall because the PDP lost governorship election appeals in two states, when since inception the same party has won over 80 per cent of its cases at the election tribunals, compared to a mere 20 per cent by the ACN.
It called on all Nigerians to be vigilant, warning that ‘once the PDP succeeds in destroying the judiciary, its next target will be to bring down the country.
Last modified: February 17, 2012