A coalition of civil society organisations under the aegis of the Conference of Harmonised Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria (COHCSON) has said it suspects strongly that secessionists are infiltrating the nation’s judicial system.
The group’s allegation is coming on the heels of a recent court judgement of an Oyo State High Court presided over by Justice Ladiran Akintola delivered in favour of a Yoruba self-determination activist, Sunday Igboho and awarded him N20 billion as claims.
Igboho, who is currently in detention in Benin Republic facility absconded when the men of the Department of State Services (DSS) raided his house over allegation that he was stockpiling dangerous weapons.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, Tuesday, the chairman of COHCSON, Oduma Richard Oduma, explained that it became necessary to raise the alarm to save the nation from apparent danger.
“This press conference is called to condemn what is turning out to be an execution of a detailed plan to subvert and undermine the country’s judicial system.
“When we first heard that the dissident and secessionist IPOB and Yoruba Nation groups were planning to infiltrate the courts at all levels, we dismissed the allegations. But latest developments have indeed forced us to raise this alarm.
“It has come to our notice that the groups are resorting to blackmail and intimidation to hoodwink the judges into granting them unmerited judicial favours. Recently, a State High in Oyo state presided by Justice Ladiran delivered a judgment in favour of Sunday Igboho and awarded him N20 billion as claims.
As part of the evil plots, IPOB has instituted a N5 billion case at the Abia State High Court Umuahia where a Judge would, out of fear of harassment and violence, grant them the plea. It has become obvious that IPOB intends to use its violence stricken sit-at-home enforcement style to force the judges do their bidding.
“In the case of Igboho, we are aware that, having failed to secure his release from Benin Republic authorities, the leaders resolved to raise funds to patronise friendly judges in Nigeria who are sympathetic to their cause. A serving governor in the South West appears to be part of the plot.”
The CSOs appealed to judges not to be intimidated by the antics of secessionists by being diligent in their responsibility in the interest of the entire country.
“The Chief Justice of Nigeria should caution chief judges of states to monitor developments within their jurisdictions in the interest of the nation and the integrity of the judiciary in general,” they stated.