Presidential candidate of the Peoples Trust (PT), Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has cautioned the executive arm of government to thread softly in the handling of ongoing matters affecting the Chief Justice of the Federation.
Speaking in a statement in reaction to reports about the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onoghen starting today at the CCB, Abuja, Olawepo-Hashim affirmed that the development constitutes serious threat to democracy and rule of law.
The presidential candidate in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Hassan Ibrahim in Abuja on Sunday, warned that separation of powers on which democractic order stands should not be destroyed on the altar of power play or for any other reason.
He said that as a leading voice in the struggle for restoration of democracy in Nigeria; “I hold inviolable the sacred principle of separation of power of which the independence of the judiciary is a fundamental element.
“Nigeria’s judiciary is surely, not perfect, but this must not be a license for perfidious interference. There are mechanisms for correction of any errors done by judicial officers in the Nigerian constitution.
“What we are seeing now is not the activation of such mechanism but what appears like a political persecution of the judiciary which is dangerous for democracy, national unity and cohesion.”
He said that Nigerian judiciary, “has provided help to other countries by posting judges to many African countries such as Botswana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, even at international level. That enviable record must not be recklessly blighted by the ongoing attempt to humiliate judicial officers.
“Under our presidency, I will implement and pursue fundamental reform of the justice administration sector to guarantee the independence of the judiciary from executive interference.
“We will strengthen the system to justly and efficiently discharge her constitutional mandate. We intend to make the judiciary truly the last hope of the common person by stopping police brutality and removing hindrance in the justice administration.
“Under our justice sector reforms, there will be end to; oppression of the poor, unjust incarceration and protection of judicial officers from humiliation and vindictive prosecutions; and strengthening of the National Judicial Council NJC for discipline of judicial officers without executive interference.”