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Government & Politics

Nigeria is not a banana republic – Catholic bishops react to arrest of judges

Ignatius Kaigama
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The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has condemned the arrests of the judges, saying Nigeria is not a banana republic.

The President of CBCN and Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama, who said this, stated that the rule of law must be followed, especially while dealing with cases concerning corruption.

Kaigama said, “We have been very clear with the President in our various meetings that the rule of law must be upheld and there should be no sentiments in the application of the rule of law. We are not in a system of government where people are just fished out for selfish or political interest.

“I condemn anything that has no legal backing. We are not just a banana republic; we are a serious nation populated by millions of people and we should measure up to international standard. We should be seen to follow due process. We wouldn’t like arbitrariness.

But the Executive Director, Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative, Adeolu Oyinlola, has hailed the DSS for arresting the judges.

He said, “Like Caesar’s wife, judges ought to be above even a whiff of suspicion, because a corrupt judge is worse than an armed robber, a kidnapper and an assassin rolled into one.

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“We wholeheartedly support and endorse the raid on the homes of ‘Bureau de Change Operators’ masquerading as judiciary officers and, in fact, unreservedly encourage the DSS to hold more of the money-laundering members of the Bench to account, for a drastic problem requires a desperate solution.”

Also, a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Ebikekeme Ere, has carpeted members of the Nigerian Bar Association for protesting against the arrest of some judges by operatives of the DSS.

Ere described such a protest as “misplaced” and a “show of ignorance” against the backdrop that the judges were nabbed for alleged corrupt practices and professional misconduct.

He asked the NBA members and the critics of the DSS action against the accused judges to stop associating the constitutional action of the operatives to Buhari.

Ere, who represented the Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency at the National Assembly in 2003, said in Yenagoa on Tuesday that though the arrest of the “high profile judges” might have surprised many, including the NBA members, the arrest bordered on national security, which is the responsibility of the DSS.

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