The All Progressives Congress, APC, has reiterated its earlier call for the arrest and prosecution of the Ekiti Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, for leading a band of thugs to attack Justice Adeyeye on the premises of the State High Court on September 25.
The party warned that failure to act decisively now would spell danger for judges and the nation’s democracy.
In a statement issued in London on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the issue of the security of judges and the unfettered administrative of justice transcended politics; hence no politician, no matter his status, must be allowed to go scot-free after attacking judges
It said any delay in taking action will see Mr. Fayose assume office, meaning he could no longer be arrested and prosecuted for what was an egregious contempt of court.
APC said the attack on judges in Ekiti had also reinforced the call in some quarters, on the basis of constitutional provisions, to subject candidates seeking political offices in the country to psychiatric tests, to prevent people with mental imbalance from taking over the affairs of state.
The party said those, who were trivialising the issue and trying to play dirty politics with it, should take a moment to think of what Mr. Fayose would do to judges whom he led thugs to beat up, when he assumed office as governor of the state.
”Now that the chief judge of Ekiti has confirmed, in a petition to the National Judicial Council, NJC, that Fayose was complicit in the attack, the NJC should treat the issue expeditiously by taking a decisive action that will make it very costly for anyone to ever attack a judge again. The need to act is urgent so that no judge gets killed simply because some powerful personality does not like his or her ruling.
“Had the relevant authorities acted with dispatch when another court in the same state was invaded by pro-Fayose thugs earlier the same week, the attack on Justice Adeyeye would have been averted,” it said.
APC said no decent society would tolerate attack on judges, which was not just a threat to the administration of justice but also a clear and present danger to democracy itself
The party recalled that not even during the chaotic political crisis in the then Western region, which earned it the tag “Wild Wild West”, were judges beaten up like Mr. Fayose and his thugs did in Ekiti.
“Only in Idi Amin’s Uganda can one recall, in recent memory, that this kind of attack happened. In 1972, the Ugandan Chief Justice was murdered by Idi Amin’s agents, after the then president publicly criticized the judge’s ruling. Later, the president of the country’s Industrial Courts was also killed while lawyers were routinely beaten up.
“We do not want the buffoons who have found themselves in power in Ekiti and elsewhere in Nigeria to take us to those days of buffoonery, days of anarchy as witnessed in Uganda and elsewhere,” it said.
APC also called on the Inspector-General of Police to sanction the policemen who stood idly by as thugs were attacking judges, lawyers, litigants and others, saying the police must always carry out its constitutional duties no matter which politician is flouting the law.
The party also appealed to the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, to take the lead in ensuring that those behind the senseless attack on judges in Ekiti are made to face the full wrath of the law, irrespective of their status in the society.