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Obasanjo Lawyer criticizes ex-president for calling judge stupid

Obasanjo was said to have insulted Idris after the judge made a ruling ordering all past civilian presidents to account for loot recovered from late dictator, Sani Abacha.

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Olusegun Obasanjo

(Press)

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The Legal Adviser, International Secretariat of Amnesty International, London, Kolawole Olaniyan has criticized former President, Olusegun Obasanjo for calling Federal High Court judge, Justice Mohammed Idris stupid.

Obasanjo was said to have insulted Idris after the judge made a ruling ordering all past civilian presidents to account for loot recovered from late dictator, Sani Abacha.

Olaniyan made his comments via a statement released on Thursday, June 2, 2016, according to Punch.

The statement reads in part:

If judges have to decide cases on the basis of what politicians or someone else wanted the law or the result to be, the very principle of the independence of the judiciary would be forfeited.

While it’s within Obasanjo’s right to disagree with the judgment or even criticise it, calling Justice Idris “stupid and ignorant” simply for doing his job amounts to inappropriate political criticism as it threatens the judge’s independence and integrity.

Nigerians do not demand infallibility from their leaders and institutions, but it’s difficult to accept the proposition that a judge granting Nigerians the right to know what their leaders and government are doing is “stupid and ignorant.

Nigerians indeed have a right to compel their public officials, particularly the high-ranking among them like Obasanjo, to keep the avenues of information open, so the public can know and evaluate their work, accomplishments and dereliction, regardless of whether they are in or out of office.

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