Judges’ Arrest Lawyers, others express divergent views

Mixed reactions continue to trail the DSS' clampdown on some allegedly corrupt judges last week

  • Published:
Department of State Services (DSS) officers. play

Department of State Services (DSS) officers.

(Punch)
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A cross section of Enugu residents have expressed mixed reactions over the clamp down on some judges by the Department of State Services (DSS) over alleged corrupt practices.

While some of the respondents including lawyers, hailed the action as being in the best interest of the nation, others said it would set democracy backwards.

The respondents spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Monday.

Prof. Chubah Ezeh of the Department of Political Science, Anambra State University, described the move as “unfortunate and goes against every known democratic norm’’.

According to Ezeh, the country is gradually sliding into political anarchy since the executive has decided to suppress other arms of government that should be independent.

“The APC-led government action against the judges is a negative precedence which may likely truncate our hard earned democracy.

“It is a very ugly and retrogressive development for the country,’’ he said.

A constitutional lawyer, Mr Humphrey Udechukwu, said that the act had set the nation’s democracy backwards.

According to him, the action shows that there is no rule of law; no law of privacy as well as separation of power among the three arms of government.

“It is unfortunate that respectable judges would be visited with such a humiliation as if we are not living in a civilised country or time anymore.

“Where have such embarrassment occurred before?’’ he queried.

On the contrary, an Enugu-based Human Rights Lawyer, Mr Ray Nnaji, expressed support for the action and urged Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari in the anti-corruption war.

Nnaji noted that judges do not have immunity and as such, should be questioned, if found wanting.

“Why would somebody in such a position put him or herself in such an act?’’ he questioned.

Similarly, Mr Ifeanyi Okonkwo, a publicist, hailed Buhari and the DSS for doing the needful, saying that it was even late to clamp down on them.

Okonkwo said that the present change mantra would not be holistic, if those that truncated justice were still allowed to be at the altar of justice.

“The issue of corruption in the judiciary had torpedoed democracy many times in the country but thank God the ship of the country did not capsize after many hits all these years.

“We pray for Mr President to take this fight to a logical conclusion and rid the judiciary of these negative elements and also clean-up the system.

“We are solidly behind him and if I am contacted, I would personally name more judges that should be investigated,’’ Okonkwo said.

Is the DSS' raid on the judges legal?»

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