The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors against undue interference in the activities of judges engaged in the adjudication of post-election litigations in the various election tribunals across the country.
The NBA urged those who took the oath of office yesterday not to compromise the independence of the judiciary and respect for the principle of rule of law as a way of sustaining the nation’s democracy.
NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), was quoted in a statement yesterday by the association’s National Publicity Secretary, Kunle Edun, as saying that the inauguration of the elected leaders in the executive arm for another four-year term was a milestone in the country’s democratic journey.
The statement reads in part: “The NBA president notes that today is a milestone in the Nigerian democratic experience as the country marks 20 years of uninterrupted civil rule.
“The NBA president states that the experience of the last 20 years has evidently shown that there is no substitute for democracy, but for citizens to reap the full benefits of any democracy, government must be consciously dedicated to the observance of the rule of law at all times.
“The NBA president further states that one of the indices of respect of the rule of law is the strengthening of the independence of the judiciary.
“The NBA shall not hesitate to always call on the other arms of government not to weaken the judicial arm of government. It is pertinent for government at all levels to obey and abide by orders of courts.
“In this light, the NBA president brings to fore the pending election petitions challenging some of the elections that heralded the inauguration the nation is witnessing today.
“It is the hope of the Bar that the heads of governments being sworn in today shall not unduly influence the Bench, as doing so would be a contravention of the oaths of offices taken today.
“The NBA president congratulates the heads of governments, charges them to engage in masses-friendly policies and wishes Nigerians a memorable inauguration day.”