Judges’ arrests: Lawyer calls for boycott of Courts


A Lagos-based lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has urged the Nigerian Bar Association to boycott all the courts in the country following the State Security Services’ invasion of the homes and arrest of some judges.

Mr. Adegboruwa, in a statement on Saturday, described the action as “full blown dictatorship now in action”.

An overnight assault on senior judges across the country by the State Security Service had resulted in the arrest of a Federal High Court judge and alleged brutalisation of a sitting governor.

Attempts were also made to arrest two Supreme Court judges.

The official quarters of Walter Onoghen, who was recently recommended to President Buhari as the next Chief Justice of Nigeria, and Sylvester Ngwuta also of the Supreme Court were besieged by the SSS for several hours overnight.

“It is now a case of anarchists in power,” said Mr. Adegboruwa.

“The clampdown on judges has been on for a long time, through agents of government in the various institutions of oppression.

“We are now back to the 1984 jackboot system of intolerance, where all dissenting views and opinions must be silenced.

“It is condemnable for the DSS, which is an arm of the executive, to be breathing down on the judicial arm of government, under the guise of fighting corruption,” he said.

Mr. Adegboruwa said the SSS raids had cleared any doubt that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption was a hidden agenda to perpetuate the administration in office beyond 2019.

“It is meant to silence the opposition and to cover the inefficiency and cluelessness of this administration,” he said.

“The 1999 Constitution in sections 4, 5 and 6 prescribes the system of separation of powers between the three arms of government.

“But since 2015 when this government was sworn in, the executive arm under Gen Buhari has dominated and brutalized the other two arms of government. The leadership of the National Assembly is under trial and it is now the turn of the judiciary.”

Mr. Adegboruwa said democracy prescribes independence of the judiciary, which allows judges an unfettered right of taking decision according to law and according to their consciences.

“It is in this regard that the mindless invasion of the homes of judges by the DSS is totally condemnable,” he said.

“It should never happen that the executive is indirectly threatening and intimidating members of the third estate of the realm.

“As judges have no voices to speak officially, I call on the Nigerian Bar Association to declare an indefinite strike so that all courts of law in Nigeria will be boycotted until there is respect for the rule of law and the Constitution, commencing from Monday, October 10, 2016, until further notice,” he said.


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  • Company man

    Olu it is not your duty to fight for judiciary. Let the judges unite and fight for their independent. NASS is fighting hard to liberate themselves from executive recklessness. Corruptions should be fought within the law of the land.

  • Abdulkadir

    A few contradiction in your statements. “1984 jackboot system”. If that were in operation, you wouldn’t have been able to make these submissions. ” silencing of the opposition “. Are lawyers now the opposition? It seems you are a PDP lawyer, exactly what this administration must remove from the temple of justice. We want Nigerian lawyers, not PDP lawyers. N

    • Tolu

      No, you want the CJN to be a northern Muslim judge.

      • farouk

        Don’t mind the clown. They can only deceive the APC-SW online recruits..not the discerning who know their ways.

      • haba mallam

        How about yes, this is the beginning of Islamization and Northernization of Nigeria. Alhamdulillah.

    • Tanko na Mata

      What has this administration under your justice czar done about the ILLEGAL CORRUPT recruitments at CBN, FIRS, etc???

      • donMe$$i

        They said chai-baba would address it.
        That was donkey months ago.

    • princegab

      Thanks bro, he is indeed a pdpist. To clean our society, there is the need to bring in the thieves redhanded. Pmb is doing just fine.

      • Tiger Autos

        Keep talking like this. When you’re on the other end of the barrel you’ll be singing a different tune.

    • Daniel

      I think due process should be taken into account in every thing. A person is innocent until proven guilty in a law court. Chief justices all over the world are respected. But if they are found wanting die process should be taken to address their case. The idea of using adoption style should be condemned otherwise it will appear as if they are being silenced and intimidated to do their work.

      • Abdulkadir

        I disagree with you that the bar will cleanse itself of corruption. Ever asked yourself if it is due process playing when a theft of goat attracts three years imprisonment without an option of fine, yet a theft of billions of Naira attracts three months imprisonment with an option of a fine of N750,000? But for a revolution in the judiciary, it will remain a clog in the efforts to rid the nation of corruption. Desperate situations demands desperate actions.

  • Devils Pen

    This is the height of impunity this is what you get when you have relatives of boko haram in power. This is unheard of.if there is any case of corruption, I think the appropriate security agency ought to write d NJC, who disciplines d judges.if they are found guilty, they can now be arraigned. A situation where houses of sitting high judges can be raided like common appears to justify claims that we are back to dictatorship. I for see some ppl going to prison after d expiration of this regime. They should continue.

    • princegab

      When These judges were subverting justice, taking bribes left and right, you were silent on impunity, sir.

      • Tiger Autos

        You’re talking like you won’t take a bribe if you’re offered. Or deny that you’ve never taken or given bribe as long as you lived in Nigeria. What people are saying is there is something called due process before decisions like these are taken, and it seems like that wasn’t the case.

        • princegab

          Good enough, I have not taken one. But are you saying that the judges followed due process when they collected?

        • wode

          Are you saying that because many people are thieves nothing is therefore wrong with it, its condemnation and actions against it?

  • Opekete

    The last time I checked the judges does not enjoy immunity from arrest and prosecution. The autonomy and independence enjoyed by the judiciary is strictly in the discharge of their constitutional duties. Does that mean that a judge cannot commit crime? If then a judge commits crime, should he be allowed to go free because he is a judge? I am surprised that some lawyers in Nigeria has started behaving like pastors who will twist and interpret the Bible to suit their whims and caprices. All sectors of public office must be subjected to transparency without any fear or favor. The president and the governors enjoy immunity until their terms expires and after the expiration they can be made to account for their stewardship. That is the provision of the constitution.

    • Jude C Mgbeze

      Sometimes u people write as if u lack common sense or u have predetermined objectives. If someone commits an offense, is it the job of DSS to arrest and/or prosecute the person? Don’t we have due process to prosecute an offender? Especially one of such high standing in the society who we know is not going to run away when invited? Why storming their houses at such unholy hour of 1a.m? Are they Boko Haramists or what? Common criminals? Do u know their ages and the impact of such unruly storming on their health even before being proven guilty of any offense?Do u know what it takes to be a justice of the Supreme Court or a chief justice anywhere in the world, how they should be treated and why? Most time we just stupidly wake up to comment on what we are not qualified or well prepared for.

      • Arabakpura

        What they did is called sting operation! Even in advanced countries it is used to uncover evidences of fraud and it goes with the element of surprise which Wike blocked! They have not gone to arrest them and there are procedures for redress when they go wrong!

      • taiwo

        Don’t mind them. Many commentators just rush to judge any action carried out by DSS as sensible forgetting that they are just an instrument in the hand of someone acting out a script. Why is it now that the DSS is coming out to create confusion or raise dust of corruption allegation? It is ill-timed. Nigerians are not fooled by their actions.

      • Opekete

        Yes you are correct. I forgot there is due process in stealing public fund. I forgot that the corrupt judicial officers usually receive their bribes through due process. Oh yes they follow due process in selling justice to the highest bidders. Buffoonery and foolery.

    • emmanuel

      Did the DSS break down the doors to the homes of the Judges the NJC sent packing recently? Buhari knows the process of investigation and trial woud be too long to excise Onnoghen form the position, so he had to heat up the system to see to immediate action.
      It is one too many. All indices point to the mans clean records and unblemished dutiful job.
      But at this rate, we would not be shocked if the DSS plant US Dollar in his house to achieve their purpose

      • Konyesilifu

        Search warrant is due process, Patriot. If you do not use it discretely the thing you want to search for, may be moved. There is a bird we call Okpoko. It is skinny and makes a lot of noise in flight. Our people say that any grasshopper caught by Okpoko is deaf. They imply that, Because of the noise Okpoko makes, Okpoko alerts the grasshoppers and they disappear before it arrives. Okpoko is therefore skinny from starvation . See what happened in Rivers state where the operation failed. Nothing was recovered because all the grasshoppers disappeared!

  • haba mallam

    You can go to hell Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa and carry the NBA with you as well.

    • shadow


  • princegab

    Why won’t lawyers boycott the courts in the absence of judges who connive to subvert justices. Is bribery not the source of their livelihoods?

    • shadow

      Waow! God bless you!

  • Watch man

    Everywhere in this country is corruption. Judges have over 700 cases in the courts unattended to, including the ones that are over ten yrs; executive recklessness everywhere; legislative rascality in NASS and the list goes on and on. Institutions are hardly working and Nigeria people are busy complaining. A community of docile individuals would continue suffering, smiling and complaining until such a time they are willing to sacrifice their “comfort”, if any, to challenge the nonsense going on in the land. It is not enough to complain. The question is: those complaining, what have you done? That country Nigeria is overripe for a serious revolution. Nigerians would continue whining until they start winning.

    • Watch man

      Interestingly, a country like Nigeria needs some level of executive madness to dismantle the level of unbridled and nauseating corruption in the land. Let the judges therefore defend themselves in this particular incidence.

      • shadow

        Yes o o o! Thank you my friend!

  • Comfortkay

    Our lawyers and our Judiciaries are Fantastically corrupt and for every lawyer that know how much his client steals he (the lwayer gets certain percentages) It is high time we flush out this corrupt element.

    • emmanuel

      We know most are orrupt, but let Onnoghen become the CJN first. Must it be a foolani. the reason the Judiciary has been mortally corrupt. It has been foolanis birthright, so the Southern man must be dropped.
      Nigeria may not exist after Buhari

      • Comfortkay

        Nigeria will still exit.
        Nobody is dreamingof breaking up only you bros. Go for spiritual prayer.

    • taiwo

      There is problem everywhere in the country. Even buharis cabinet is corrupt. Singling out some judge at a time we are expecting a new CJN is highly suspicious of an attempt to sideline another southerner and impose a Muslim northerner. That’s the game plan of
      PMB. The DSS has always been an instrument in the hand of any govt in power to perpetrate evil for their selfish needs and hide under one secret investigation that is not real. Pls PMB, get serious with providing the change you promised and run an inclusive government. Tired of all these noise.

      • Comfortkay

        Please prove your statement else it will be used against you. Control your tongue.

  • stingdman

    Ebun Adegboruwa is afraid of arrest now that the law is moving closer to his constituency. Judges and Lawyers are the major problems we have in Nigeria. They are the handy tools in the hands of politicians. We don’t need the courts t open until all looted monies are recovered from these thieves.

  • Konyesilifu

    This is nonsense. You want to boycott the courts? To achieve what? How would you fight executive lawlessness if you close down the courts? If you cripple Section 6 of the constitution can you still have a government? Whoever cuts his nose to spite his face? There is no need to get emotional about the arrest of few judges. Other people get arrested too. The problem posed by the corrupt elements within the judiciary is real. Very real. You cannot have double standards. A deadly sickness requires a drastic remedy. Any thief knows that all days are for the thief but one day is for the owner . The day of reckoning .

    • shadow

      I hail you, Patriot! Adegboruwa should know what chemotherapy does to cancer cells and patient’s body. We can’t avoid collateral damage. Period!

  • Ayeni

    Mr Adegboruwa, you also forgot to mention in your article that the judiciary independent give them the right to take bribe before making their decisions. Humm? And that they, legislatives and executives arms are above the law. Only the common citizen can be investigated. Right?
    You must be a joker!

  • Ayeni

    If the civilian lawyers boycott the court the military lawyers should step in to move the country forward. We can afford some people to be drawing the country back illegally.

    • George

      Keep on hailing the modern evil president but remember this is how your tribe hailed Abacha until he descended on your people.

  • Chinedu

    I think the operation was wrong and not well thought out. It looks like asking a carpenter to do the job of a tailor. The suspicion may be right but the method may destroy the objective. And this happens when intelligence is absent. I guess Olu is right on this one. The lawyers and judges should rise to defend the rule of law. And the presidency must learn that objectives and the methods of achievement go together. And to my fellow countrymen I humbly paraphrase the great essayist when he said that when they came for my enemy,I kept quiet. They came for my friend, l kept quiet . Then they came for me. Please ponder over this event carefully without ethnic or religious bias.

  • Izedomi Ohirein

    No one is above the law.
    Even if the method employed were drastic, how else could these thieves in our Judiciaries have been summoned and found with the monies at their disposals.
    My heart bleed for our children denied education the need, youths denied opportunities & senior Citizens denied dignity in old age because of corruption. Corruption in the Judiciary is the worst form of corruption.
    We are in desperate time, desperate measures call for desperate actions. God bless Nigerians who voted for change.