By Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has again raised the alarm on an alleged plot by the federal government to use security agents to lock down the National Judicial Council (NJC ) headquarters and intimidate members at their resumed sitting on Monday.
The coalition alleged that the government was working with the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Tanko Mohammed to manipulate the NJC meeting after majority of members allegedly refused to be
compromised to support the removal of Justice Onnoghen.
The CUPP spokesperson Ikenga Ugochinyere said they obtained credible intelligence with evidence that a combined team of security agents has been approved by the Presidency to cordon off the venue of the NJC meeting scheduled for Monday, February 11 as they proceed to consider the answers to the queries issued to the CJN and Justice Tanko Mohammed.
According to him, “The operatives have been handed instructions that they should do whatever is necessary to ensure the NJC indicts the CJN and sets Justice Tanko Mohammed free from all allegations.”
He also alleged that an Assistant Inspector General of Police and another very senior officer from the Department of State Security Service (DSS) are to coordinate the operation.
He said: “The security agents are to claim that there is intelligence of a possible breach of security which would warrant the increased security. They are to coax, coerce and show some members their unfavourable security reports to get them to do the bidding of the government.”
This latest decision, he said, “was informed by the fact that the federal government is aware that the Nigerian opposition has obtained further evidence to prove that the removal of Justice Walter Onnoghen from office by President Buhari is merely for political purpose, having failed in a bid to recruit the CJN to support the APC and use the office of the Chief Justice to unduly favour the party and the President in the post-2019 Supreme Court election petition appeals”.
He added: “Knowing that they do not have anything on the CJN, they have resorted to strong arm tactics, intimidation and harassment. The factional CJN Tanko Mohammed is now yielding the office of the CJN to the executive to manipulate the NJC meeting for his own personal gain and to reap the fruit of the illegal forced suspension of Justice Onnoghen.”
The CUPP urged Nigerians to keep vigil over the venue so that the last hope of the common man is not conquered.
Ugochinyere also urged members of the NJC to resist the invasion by those he described as political barbarians and sack Justice Mohammed from the bench for conniving to breach the NJC guidelines and the 1999 Constitution.
“The plot to use security agents to attempt to intimidate members of the NJC is reprehensible, condemnable and repugnant and must be dismantled immediately as continuing with it will be one abuse too many in a constitutional democracy,” he said.