Stop Using Judiciary for Supremacy Tussle-Ogunye

A human rights activist and lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, has blasted politicians for using the judiciary as a platform for supremacy tussle.

He stated this during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Monday, adding that politicians take the judicial forum or arena as an extension of their partisan platform for supremacy tussle. He noted that although the judicial forum is hallowed, politicians use courts to sustain their positions.

According to him, “Politicians think that the judicial forum or arena is an extension of their partisan platform for supremacy tussle,” he said.

“For them, they want to use the judiciary, regardless of how hallowed the judicial form is to lawyers and non-lawyers, to strengthen their positions in their unending political contentions and conflicts.”

Ogunye noted that he is not comfortable with the system, stressing that the judiciary has a responsibility to overlook politicians who come with their “deleterious briefs and cases”.

His comments follow the crises in the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairmanship position. Recall Empire reported several calls made for the removal of Uche Secondus and Yemi Akinwonmi, who was appointed the acting National Chairman, after Justice Okogbule Gbasam of the Degema Division of the Rivers State High Court granted an interim order which restrained Uche Secondus from parading or acting as the PDP National Chairman.

Meanwhile, there have also been conflicting court orders over the position. Ogunye recalled that in 2016 the Federal High Court in Abuja under Justice Okon Abang and Justice Ibrahim Watila of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt issued conflicting court judgements on the PDP leadership tussle.

Ogunye noted that if the situation is not curbed, Nigeria will continue to experience such. He, however, lauded the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Tanko Muhammad, for summoning the affected judges to prevent a reoccurrence.

He added, “What we are witnessing is a reenactment of history, and it will continue to happen. The CJN has done as the Chairman of the National Judicial Council and what the NJC may do is salutary.

“Other people may say, no, that is a kind of interference, allow those things to play out, and then they may get to the Supreme Court.
“No, I have always maintained that the NJC has broad powers over policy administration of the judiciary and to exercise disciplinary control and powers over all judges.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Justice Tanko Muhammad, has summoned the Chief Judges of Rivers, Kebbi, Cross River, Anambra, Jigawa and the Imo States to an emergency meeting over the conflicting ex parte orders emanating from judges in their jurisdictions.

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