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Fayose, Afe Babalola, OPC condemn arrest of judges

Ado-Ekiti State governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose and a legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), have accused men of Department of State Security Services (DSS) who invaded some judges’ residences at night last Friday of over-stepping their boundary. The duo, who described the development as dangerous to the country’s democracy and flagrant erosion of the independence of the judicial arm, said if judges could be treated in such crude manner, nobody is safe under the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government .

Speaking yesterday in Ado Ekiti during the official foundation laying ceremony of the N1.29 billion new Ekiti State High Court Complex, they said arresting and harassing judges in the name of fighting corruption was bad for Nigeria as a nation. The governor who specifically said he would continue to hold judiciary in high esteem and do everything possible to ensure smooth and seamless administration of justice in the country named the edifice which he promised to commission within the next one year after the Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti and the pioneer Chief Judge of the State, Justice Ademola Ajakaye.

They were reacting to the arrest of five judges, including two supreme court justices by DSS and their subsequent arraignment before a magistrate court in Abuja by DSS for alleged corruption related cases. The governor who said he found it expedient to build another high court complex to replace the current one that was bequeathed onto the state in 1968, called on judicial officers and lawyers of note to defend the temple of justice by calling the federal government to order.

I am particularly glad with what is happening today because the judicial officers had not done enough to put the executive at checks. I had earlier raised the alarm that something like this will happen, so the current predicament of these judges will teach a lesson that nobody is safe from harassment in Nigeria.

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