Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has expressed worry over the invasion of the High Court of Justice and Magistrates Court, Ado Ekiti on Monday by hoodlums; saying that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Aloma Muhktar, the Inspector General of Police and the Nigeria Bar Association must ensure the culprits are brought to book in the interest of the Judiciary.
The Governor who was in the High Court Complex on Tuesday morning to assess the damage done to some sections of the court urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria to get the full report of the incident and the NBA as well as Lawyers Privileges Committee to investigate the roles played by some lawyers in abetting the criminals.
Dr Fayemi said he tried to inform President Goodluck Jonathan about the dastardly act but could only reach his Chief of Staff with whom he raised the issue which he described as the desecration of the temple of justice.
He stressed that the Inspector General of Police and the State Commissioner of Police must ensure the prosecution of those arrested at the scene so that they can serve as deterrent to others who may want to repeat such an act.
“The Chief Justice of Nigeria must get a full report of this action in my view from the Chief Judge of this State about what transpired here yesterday. The President of the Nigerian Bar Association must take a stand on the protection of judges even to do their work without let or hindrance. The Bar in Ekiti State must also play its own role because I heard some lawyers were involved in what happened yesterday in bringing criminals to court to perpetrate this act. If that is true, then the Lawyers Privileges Committee must also investigate comprehensively the role that those who should be workers in the temple of justice played in what transpired here, even the President of this country must be on the side of those who dispense justice in this country”, he said.
While stating that the desecration of the court by the hoodlums portends danger for the nation’s democracy, the Governor expressed concern that the incident may mark the beginning of the era of “one day, one trouble” in Ekiti State.
He urged peace loving citizens of Ekiti State and Nigerians at large to ensure that those who want to lord themselves over the people are not allowed.
“I don’t think this is just a matter for Ekiti state. I think this is an assault on the judiciary in our country and what it portends for our democracy is very worrisome because in all my years of knowing the relationship between the court and other agencies of government, I have never to the best of my knowledge heard or seen a situation in which a court is disrupted by hoodlums from outside the court on whatever bais. This is the temple of justice to which we all have recourse when we are not satisfied with any action or inaction in our country. It is scared, independent and it is to be protected at all times and as chief security officer of the state, I owe it a duty to the judiciary to not only respect its rulings and judgement but also to protect its officers”.
“In almost four years that I have been Governor in this State, we have never had a situation as bizarre as what was witnessed in this place yesterday. We have to ask ourselves what this means in the country. Does it mean that judges cannot dispense justice without fear or favour, without expectations of being intimidated, harassed and assaulted by those who are not happy with whatever decision they are going to take. Does it mean that an armed robber who has been sentenced to prison has a liberty to go out, recruit armed robbers like himself or go out and get thugs and invade the court of the judge who delivered the judgement on his matter?”, Fayemi probes.
Fayemi was accompanied on the inspection by his Deputy, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, and the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Wale Fapounda, his Information and Civic Orientation counterpart, Mr Tayo Ekundayo, among others.
Last modified: September 23, 2014