Army Distances Self from Executive, Judiciary Conflict in Kogi

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The Nigerian Army has distanced itself from the alleged conflict between the executive and judiciary in Kogi State.

The army spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, in a statement on Tuesday, said the army has received report of a purported plan to use “soldiers to eject the Kogi Chief Judge from his official residence”.

He said the army, under the leadership of Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai “will not contemplate interfering under any guise in the internal executive and judiciary conflict in Kogi or any other state for that matter”.

Musa said the army headquarters had directed and warned the commander in the state to steer clear of the conflict and “not to interfere under any guise”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) Kogi chapter on Monday cautioned the state House of Assembly against being used by the executive to illegally and forcefully remove the state Chief Judge, Nasir Ajanah.

The JUSUN state chairman, Emmanuel Waniko, made the call at a news conference at the end of a peaceful protest by members of the union on Monday in Lokoja, the state capital.

Waniko said the union had uncovered clandestine moves by the state government with a directive to the assembly to forcefully remove the chief judge at Tuesday’s plenary of the House.

“We are forced to make this call at this auspicious time following reports reaching us on the clandestine moves by Governor Yahaya Bello, and his directive to the Speaker Matthew Kolawole,’’ Waniko said.

According to him, the directive is for the Speaker to disobey the subsisting order of December 13, 2018, from the High Court, Koton-Karfe, asking the House to stay action on the impasse between the executive and judiciary in the state.

Bello had in a broadcast on March 8, said monies for several months’ salaries for the judiciary staff were intact in banks.

He added that the problem was the refusal of the leadership of the state’s judiciary, in collusion with JUSUN, to forward the staff payroll for a pay parade.

“My preoccupation is how to get that money to the innocent staffers without breaching applicable service rules or our Collective Agreement with Labour.

“I trust the Almighty God that reason will prevail sooner than later,’’ the governor said. (NAN)