The Presidency has described the current ‘attack’ on some judges as a “surgical operation” aimed at corruption and not the judiciary as an institution.
Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) had last Friday invaded the homes of some judges across the country and arrested them based on allegations of corruption.
According to the DSS, it recovered huge cash – local and foreign currencies from three of the judges. But many Nigerians have condemned the invasion, describing it as illegal and a disregard for the rule of law.
However, in a statement on Sunday, October 9, Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said Buhari is committed to the tenets of democracy.
He said: “The presidency assures [Nigerians] that the president reserves his highest respect for the institution of the judiciary as the third arm of government,” he said.
“To this end, the president will not do anything to undermine its independence.
“President Buhari remains a committed democrat, in words and in his action, and will not take any action in violation of the constitution. The recent surgical operation against some judicial officers is specifically targeted at corruption and not at the judiciary as an institution.
“In a robust democracy such as ours, there is bound to be a plurality of opinions on any given issue, but there is a convergence of views that the country has a corruption problem that needs to be corrected.
“But reports by a section of the media are giving us cause for concern. In undertaking the task of reporting, the media should be careful about the fault lines they open.
“It is wrong to present this incident as a confrontation between the executive and judicial arms of government.
“The presidency has received assurances from the DSS that all due processes of the law, including the possession of search and arrest warrants, were obtained before the searches.”
He added that those accusing the Buhari administration of being dictatorial are breaching the interest of the state.