The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has berated President Muhammadu Buhari, for his criticisms of the country’s judiciary, saying the President should respect the principles of separation of powers.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, on Monday, Mr. Fayose advised President Buhari to allow the judiciary to do its job.
He said the president should obey court orders and focus on proper prosecution of people accused of corruption rather than castigating the judiciary and making the arm of government to appear as the stumbling block in his fight against corruption.
The governor also expressed doubts on the claims by the federal government that it had defeated Boko Haram, urging the president to tell Nigerians the truth.
“They keep telling us that they have defeated Boko Haram technically while Nigerians are still being killed daily by Boko Haram, with over 100 people killed in Dalori, less than 12km to Maiduguri, Borno State capital,” Mr. Fayose said.
“Isn’t it now necessary for the President to fulfill his promise of leading from the front and getting his Information Minister, Lai Mohammed to go and hold a press briefing in Sambisa forest unguarded by military men so as to show to Nigerians that indeed, they have defeated Boko Haram technically?”
Mr. Fayose said the president should have simply told the whole world that he hated the Nigerian judiciary because he lost the petitions that he filed against his electoral defeats in 2003, 2007 and 2011 instead of hiding under the fight against corruption to ventilate his anger.
The governor said there was nothing wrong with the legal system in Nigeria.
“In recent times, politicians like President Buhari are the ones responsible for the wrath in the judiciary because of their desperation to use the courts to foist one party state on Nigerians with conflicting judgments from election tribunals,” he said.
He said making noise in the media about discovery of fraud was different from being able to prove allegations of fraud in the court.
“The president and his men should stop media trial and playing with bogus figures. This is because as it is today, President Buhari is not fighting any corruption. Rather, he is engaging in political persecution in his bid to weaken opposition both in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and within his own party, the All Progressives Congress (APC),” he argued.
“Even the president’s party men are beginning to condemn openly the trial of people accused of corruption in the media, with newspapers quoting Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) on Saturday as describing it as convicting the suspects without giving them fair hearing.”
He further said that the president needed to purge himself of the blood of military dictatorship running in his veins, as he was using his fight against corruption to persecute those opposed to his government.
“When your own men are corrupting an institution like the judiciary just because they needed to win back states like Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Taraba and others that they lost at the polls, thereby causing the courts to give conflicting judgments, it is morally wrong for you to go outside the country and complain about such a judiciary,” Mr. Fayose said.
“When your party men are encouraging people to commit perjury and confess to rigging elections just to discredit electoral victories of PDP and those made to confess to committing these crimes are allowed to walk the streets free just because they are serving the interest of APC, such a president lacks moral rights to complain about any institution stalling his fight against corruption because his own party men are number one promoters of corruption.
“The president must therefore act like a democratically elected president that he is by respecting the judiciary, which is a separate arm of government before his complain about the role of the judiciary in his fight against corruption can be taking seriously.”