A pro-democracy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, on Tuesday urged the judiciary to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to obey “subsisting” court orders.
HURIWA made the appeal while lamenting the continued incarceration of former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki and the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria also known as Shiite, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
The body called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, President of Court of Appeal, Mrs. Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa and Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Adamu Abdul-Kafarati to “fashion out a sustainable response mechanism” that could avoid the collapse of the judicial system in Nigeria.
HURIWA made the call in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko.
The statement reads partly: “Vexed by the lackluster and lackadaisical attitudes of the heads of the three mainstream Courts to the flagrant violations of subsisting court orders by President Muhammadu Buhari, we task them to defend the integrity of the court system.
“We challenge the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mr. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen; President of court of Appeal Mrs. Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, and Chief judge of federal high court, Mr Adamu Abdul-Kafarati to work as a team and support the head of the judiciary in Nigeria being the Chief Justice of Nigeria to fashion out a sustainable response mechanisms that could compel the head of the executive arm of government to comply with all binding court orders to avoid the collapse of constitutional democracy in the Country.
“We insists that the hierarchy of the judicial system in Nigeria is needed now more than ever to show courageous leadership by standing on the side of the constitution to demand strict adherence to the tenets of the principle of rule of law because allowing the naked desecration of the temple of justice by one branch of government and to continue to pretend that all is well will not augur well for sustainable democracy.
“Democracy survives when all the primary drivers of the process are compelled by all lawful means to comply with the binding rules governing constitutional democracy and most especially the rule of law.”
The group “specifically condemned the heads of the different courts in the country for doing nothing whilst the head of the executive arm of government continues to disregard court rulings which amount to an unconstitutional conducts, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the President of Court of Appeal and the Chief of Federal High Court are collectively charged to salvage the image of the court system and restore it to its constitutional pride of place.”
HURIWA carpeted judges heading the diverse segments of the judiciary in Nigeria for “failing to exercise their powers such as boycotting all cases filed by the presidency and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation until such a time the president complies with half a dozen binding bail orders in favour of erstwhile National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki and the leader of Shiites Islamic Movement, Ibrahim El-zazaky.”
The body noted that “time is not on our side to stop the coming catastrophe that may come by the persistence of these cumulative breaches of the principle of rule of law.
“How does the chief justice of Nigeria; the president of court of Appeal and Chief Judge of Federal High Court feel every day they go to work to realize that the head of the executive arm of government has consigned several binding judgments of courts to the dustbin of impunity?
“Why not embark on peaceful boycott of cases instituted by the President? What is the essence of operating the institution of the judiciary when the holder of the office of President picks and chooses which decisions of the courts to obey?,” HURIWA queried.