In a related development, the PDP called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to immediately protect the judiciary from the ‘’unconstitutional, repressive and fascist’’ policies being allegedly foisted on the system by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led presidency.
Ologbondiyan, in another statement yesterday in Abuja said that Executive Order 6, as well as the travel ban and trailing of citizens, were devised to directly interfere in judicial processes and stifle accused persons of resources, under the guise of speedy trial, saying it has left no one in doubt that the nation is fast sliding into fascism.
The opposition party added that the Buhari presidency had commenced an attack on the independence of the judiciary, using the instrument of blackmail and casting of aspersion on its integrity and capacity to effectively and timeously dispense justice.
The PDP stressed that the travel ban, trailing of citizens and attempt to regulate the processes of the court were, therefore, an attempt to short-circuit the constitutional powers of the judiciary and foist a fascist regime, where the presidency becomes the investigator, prosecutor and the judge in determination of trumped-up charges against innocent Nigerians.
Ologbondiyan stated, “In trying to use his Executive Order 6 to determine the process, procedures and progression of cases in court, the Buhari Presidency directly seeks to usurp, commandeer and appropriate the constitutional powers of the judiciary and then arm-twist the courts and use them as slaughterhouses for opposition members and perceived political opponents.’’
The PDP called on Nigerians to note that the action of the Buhari Presidency was a direct attempt to suspend sections 6 (6)(b), 36 (5), (6)(d) and 37 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Ologbondiyan noted that while section 6 (6)(b) provides that judicial powers of the court shall ‘extend to all matters between persons, or between government or authority and to any person in Nigeria, and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto, for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations of that person.”
He added that Section 36 (6) (d) provides that, “every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence.’’
The PDP stated categorically that it rejects any attempt by this administration to return our country to pre-1984 military dictatorship, where siege mentality and suppression of rights of citizens was the rule rather than the exception.
The party urged the judiciary, as the last hope of the common man, to immediately insulate itself from the evil machination of the APC, which it said is now trying to turn the judiciary into an instrument of oppression against Nigerians.