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Judiciary independence: Secondus backs NBA, says Buhari eroding separation of power

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By Adekunle Adebayo, Abuja

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus on Sunday corroborated what the President of Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Paul Usoro (SAN) said, that judges and lawyers are operating in Nigeria with fears.

Mr Usoro had, while speaking in Abuja on Friday during National Executive Committee meeting of the association said the level of insecurity in the country and the attack on the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession constituted a threat to the rule of law, and by extension the country’s democracy.

He bemoaned the “pervasive insecurity of lives and property in the land” and what it described as “systematic erosion” of the independence of the judiciary.

“Without the rule of law and security of lives and property, society gradually descends into a state of anarchy and democracy becomes a mere pretension. Democracy itself cannot survive without the rule of law.

“These twin elements – rule of law and security of lives and property – are what drive society and the economy. It would be revealing if we were to have proper and verified statistics on the investment opportunities that have been lost by Nigeria because of these twin pervasive challenges: insecurity and the erosion of the rule of law,” Usoro had said.

Reacting to NBA’s disposition on independence of judiciary, Secondus said that the lawyers’ comment has vindicated the opposition PDP that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, “is using devious means to obstruct justice from coming out from the nation’s courts.”

According to him in a statement signed by his media, Ike Abonyi, “The NBA alarm merely confirms the position of PDP that APC administration is shrinking the doctrine of separation of power to enable a full blown dictatorship to blossom.”

The PDP National Chairman noted that Judges and Justices by their calling cannot speak out publicly even if they are under pains except through the bar as has been eloquently and timely done by the bar association and said that all democratic watchers should note this concerns.

He said that the PDP has continuously raised alarm at the gradual erosion of the doctrines of Separation of power by the APC administration as the nation watch helplessly as the executive continues to muzzle the other arms of government including even the press.

Prince Secondus said that the opposition has remained resolute in crying out loud against harassment of those with opposing views because it clearly envisages the danger of concentration of power in one hand especially with a leader who has no history of appreciating and respecting democratic tenets and principles.

The National Chairman, however, expressed hope that even in the face of harassment and intimidation, the Nigeria judiciary knowing their critical position in the sustenance of democracy in the land and being citizens who are resident in the country, knows that Judiciary is the last hope of the ordinary people and that no nation grows on injustice.

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