A political activist and former deputy national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has accused the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of resorting to outright harassment and blackmail of Nigerian Judges to do its bidding.
He however, expressed confidence in the nation’s Supreme Court Justices, saying the highest court in the land remained credible and truly the last hope of the common man.
Reacting to the Appeal Court judgement which denied the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, access to inspect the controversial server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) used for the 2019 election, Frank said in a statement he released on Tuesday in Abuja, that the government “has resorted to using various security agencies to openly intimidate some of the judges into doing its bidding.”
The Bayelsa-born activist cited media reports, quoting the President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Paul Usoro, who declared that judges were afraid of performing their duties as expected due to fear and intimidation from the executive arm of government.
The reports quoted the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) as saying: “Our Judges are threatened, intimidated and blackmailed mostly, by the executive arm of government and their agencies both at the federal and state levels.
“Our judges cannot deliver justice under a climate of fear and intimidation. Justice thrives where and when there is an independent judiciary. There can be no such independence when there is no security of tenure for our Judges. There can be no independence of the judiciary when our judges are intimidated, threatened and blackmailed by state agencies and their officials.
“There can be no independence of the judiciary when our judges are actively coerced by state officials to think and reason only in the manner that those officials and, presumably, government want them to think.”
But in his response, the Atiku ally said: “We hope that the Supreme Court, which is the last hope of all oppressed Nigerians, will summon courage to stand by the people and decide the present appeal based on the overwhelming evidence before the court and the verdict of credible local and international organisations like the European Union, National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), among others.
“Nigerians are patiently waiting for Atiku to rescue them from the shackles of insecurity, hunger, unemployment, directionless government and government of cabals,” Frank stated.
He called on Nigerians, especially the political stakeholders, opposition party chieftains, human rights activists and members of judiciary not to keep quiet if Nigeria was to move forward.