Saturday, 8 October 2016

NBA declares state of emergency over the arrest of some judges in Abuja, other states

The Leadership of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, has declared a state of emergency on the judiciary following the arrest of some judges by agents of the State Security Service in the early hours of today October 8th.

At a press briefing which had in attendance past NBA presidents like Olisa Agbakoba, Wole Olanikpekun and others, the President of the NBA, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) decried the manner in which the judges and their family members were manhandled and arrested by the security agents who claim the judges were arrested over their involvement in "corrupt practices". He called for the immediate release of the arrested judges and their family members.

“I want to emphasise again that we are not under military rule and we cannot accept this unholy event and Gestapo-style operation. We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately caution all the state security agencies and to respect the rule of law and to respect due process. Any issues affecting the judicial officers, there are established procedures for handling them and we demand that this constitutional process must be obeyed. Given the unfolding nature of the event and the seriousness of the situation, the NBA hereby declares a state of emergency as it affects the affairs of the judiciary and I hereby constitute a crisis management team, comprising all past presidents of the association. I want to, on behalf of the association, make the very following clear and unequivocal demands: we demand the immediate and unconditional release of all the judges abducted from about 9pm yesterday. The release must be done immediately and without any conditions. Two, we demand that the Department of State Services should limit itself to its statutory and constitutional responsibilities. I’ll be meeting with the CJN later tonight or tomorrow. There will be consequences should these demands are not met.”he said

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