Some officials of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), on Friday, barred journalists from gaining access into the Supreme Court premises, but allowed the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaib, and his entourage.
The apex court had slated Friday for judgement in a suit instituted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) seeking to remove the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, over allegations of certificate forgery.
Some officials of JUSUN were stationed at the Supreme Court’s entrance to enforce their ongoing strike action over financial autonomy for the judiciary arm of government.
The union has kept the courts across the country shut for over seven weeks.
But while at the apex court’s entrance on Friday, they opened the gate for Mr Shuaib and members of his long entourage. They, however, chased away court reporters.
The fierce looking JUSUN officers were being led by a man simply called Mr Adebayo, while Mr Gbenga, a registrar at the Supreme Court, shouted at the top of his voice that journalists should not be allowed to attend the court proceedings.
When this reporter approached the JUSUN officials to make them see the reason why journalists should be allowed to cover the proceedings, Mr Adebayo motioned to him to “get out” of his sight, as his colleagues aggressively turned other reporters away.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported that the Supreme Court dismissed the certificate forgery suit and ruled in favour of Mr Obaseki.
Judiciary not in APC’s pocket, says Edo Deputy Governor
Meanwhile, shortly after the Supreme Court’s judgment, Mr Obaseki’s deputy, Mr Shuaib, said the apex court was not in the pocket of the APC.
“My joy is that this judiciary is not in their pocket. The judiciary is independent, and I am happy that they have reinforced that confidence in us that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man,” Mr Shuaib said.
He said he and his principal were being oppressed by the APC in the build-up to the last governorship election in the state.
He said members of the opposition APC in the state had boasted of their victory at the Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court is not in their (APC) as they said. You can see that we have hope; we have a judicial system that is working.
“And for us, we have never been in doubt. We had told our supporters and friends that we believe in the judiciary, and we were sure of victory.
“Just think about it; the University of Ibadan came and said the governor (Mr Obaseki) graduated; they brought evidence to show that he graduated.
But these characters (the APC) felt they could turn what is right (sic) to black.
“For me, I’m so excited today. I have passed through this before; I was vindicated by the same court.
“This victory is to God, this victory is to Edo people and Nigerians, because our election was not just an Edo election; it was a Nigerian election because we were the underdogs, and we were being oppressed.”
“We will continue to do the will of the people,” he added.
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