Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
A group loyal to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG), has condemned the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for threatening to boycott the courts and issuing a deadline to the Department of State Services (DSS) for the release of the judges.
Following the arrest of some justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the High Court by the DSS, at the weekend, they said the government did not breach any law in carrying out the arrest of the judges.
In a statement signed by its Coordinator, Mallam Muhammad Labbo, and secretary, Cassidy Madueke, last nigth in Abuja, the group noted that the DSS followed due process and rule of law in carrying out the arrest, saying the security agency had valid and legally-issued search warrants before embarking on the assignment.
It also added that DSS adhered to the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 to the letter in every move they made.
The statement noted further that “no judge in Nigeria is granted immunity by the 1999 Constitution as amended, and like in other democratic climes, the security agencies can arrest and prosecute judges who have fallen outside the favour of legally-accepted conduct.”
The group however, said the call by the NBA for a state of emergency and the ultimatum to the President Buhari to “call his security agencies to order” is not only tantamount to impeding the anti-graft war of the administration, but also amounts to shielding suspects from facing the law against the ethics and obligations of the legal profession.
“As a responsible organisation, it is expected that the NBA will be in the forefront in educating Nigerians on the legality and propriety of the DSS action, and lend their total support to the reformation and cleansing of the Nigerian judiciary as it will ultimately serve the general good.”
According to the group, this is a fight against corruption and not against the judiciary as an institution.
The group reminded Nigerians that President Buhari was elected with the core mandate to rid Nigeria of corruption and we must lend our unalloyed support to enable him succeed.