Intimidation of judiciary will breed anarchy – Obi

. Says election is about the survival of Nigeria
By Valentine Amanze

By Valentine Amanze

The Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, has decried what he described as “Intimidation of the Judiciary”, while asking, “Where is Due Process?”.
Recalling that he was a major beneficiary of the rule of law/due process, Obi said that when the critical essence of democracy [Judiciary] is under siege or attacked, the state could be set on the path of perdition.
Obi spoke at Shagamu, Ogun State, while representing Alhaji Atiku Abubakar at the Strategy Meeting of the PDP and in reaction to the orchestrated arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on allegations bordering on assets declaration, yesterday.
Elaborating on his stance, Obi pointedut that law-abiding citizens of Nigeria, including members of the judiciary, affirm that nobody was above the law, while insisting that the process of legal restitution for alleged infractions of the laws of the land must be above board.
“In the present case”, Obi said, “confirmed indications reveal that due process was not followed. For instance, what should be done first in such cases is to write formally to the National Judiciary Council (NJC), and that was not done.”
On the overall rating of the Nigerian Judiciary, Obi said: “In my view, the Nigerian judiciary remains the best of the three arms of government under the present dispensation. Indeed, it has done tremendously well, and I am a celebrated beneficiary of our judicial system. It was through the Courts that I secured my electoral mandate and also served my full term. It was also due process that reversed my illegal impeachment. Interestingly, a number of other public office holders, including the incumbent chairman of the APC benefited from that courageous precedent set by the Judiciary.”
Obi said that it was sad that the judiciary had been subjected to unwarranted intimidation by the present administration; with such unwholesome acts as unfounded hounding of members of the Higher Bench, raids on their homes, arrest and arraignment, to the present macabre dance in the name of allegations against and arraignment of the CJN.
More appalling, Obi noted, has been the persistent “lack of decorum” in the attitudes and actions of the present government: “One begins to wonder whether the handlers of the present regime are unmindful of the extant law that requires the NJC to first investigate judicial officers and, if found culpable, recommend disciplinary measures to the legislature before any arraignment if necessary.
“It is also revealing that this scenario is not novel in today's Nigeria. It is the same CJN that was also subjected to all manner of traumatic experience before his emergence as head of the Nigerian Judiciary. From the way and manner we are going, the judicial arm that helps to defend, guide, guard and direct democracy and its institutions is being overawed, intimidated and undermined preparatory to the General Elections. Wherein lies our hope in Nigeria?”
On the way forward, Obi called on Nigerian leaders to shun the temptation of making moves or take actions that could engender and breed anarchy in the country.
The Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP and the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has said: "The 2019 election is not about Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari, but about the survival of Nigeria."
The PDP Vice Presidential candidate was speaking at Amichi after the dedication of the new Secretariat and the School of Nursing of the Amichi Anglican Diocese at the weekend.
Obi said that the present government had shown great incapacity for governance that had manifested in all the vices plaguing the country and should not be allowed to continue.

He cited examples of the insecurity in different parts of the country such as Borno and Zamfara, homes of the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Defence Staff, respectively, and even Katsina State, the home of President Buhari.
On the economy, Obi regretted that Nigeria could not be said to have any economic base at the moment when Nigerian youths in their productive ages had been rendered unproductive due to lack of vision, planning and effective implementation.
He said that it was unfortunate that under Buhari's APC government, Nigeria had become the poverty capital of the world.
Obi also frowned at a situation where a quarter of Nigeria's 2019 budget was devoted only to service of debt, a situation he said portended grave danger for the country.
He expressed optimism that with the detribalised and hard working Atiku, Nigeria would be made to start working again.

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