Olawepo-Hashim Cautions Buhari, APC Over Attack On Judiciary

Olawepo-Hashim cautions Buhari, APC over attack on judiciary

Presidential
Candidate of the People’s Trust (PT), Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has
cautioned the executive arm of government to thread softly in the
handling of ongoing matters affecting the Chief Justice of the
Federation.

Olawepo-Hashim, made the statement while reacting to
reports about the impending trial of the Chief Justix of Nigeria(CJN)
in a statement issued to journalists by his Chief Press Secretary ,
Hassan Ibrahim in Abuja on Sunday.
He affirmed that the development
constitutes serious threat to democracy and rule of law, warning that
separation of powers on which democractic order stands should not be
destroyed on the altar of power play or any other reason.

He said
that as one who was a leading voice in the struggle for the
restoration of democracy in Nigeria; “I owe inviolable the sacred
principle of separation of power of which the independence of the
judiciary is a fundamental element.”
He further said: “Nigeria’s
judiciary is surely, not perfect just like many other institutions of
state that need urgent reforms. But this must not be a license for the
executive for perfidious interference.

“There are mechanism for corrections of any errors done by judicial officers in the Nigerian constitution .
“What
we are seeing now is not the activation of such mechanism but what
appears like a political persecution of the judiciary which is dangerous
for democracy,national unity and cohesion.

“Though with her own
shortcomings which can be internally cured within the judiciary’s self
correcting mechanism ,our judiciary remains highly revered with an
enviable jurisprudence and history.It has provided help to other
countries by posting judges to many African countries such as Botswana,
Gambia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and even at the international level.

“That enviable record must not be recklessly blighted by the on going attempt to humiliate judicial officers.”
The
PT’s candidate said this occasion has also provided an opportunity for
the the People’s Trust to elucidate its our policy perspective on the
judiciary, stressing that the party’s manifesto, has already highlighted
far-reaching justice sector reform initiatives aimed at repositioning
the judiciary.

He said that the party envisions the Judiciary as a
self-correcting institution through the National Judicial Council, and
aims to reverse the humiliation and molestation of the judicial sector
while stopping the erosion of judicial authority and mandates due to
executive interference and harassment.

He stated further that;
“Under our Presidency, I will implement and pursue fundamental reform of
the justice administration sector to guarantee the independence of the
judiciary from executive interference while strengthening the system to
justly and efficiently discharge her constitutional mandate. We intend
to make the judiciary truly the last hope of the common person by
stopping police brutality and removing hindrance in the justice
administration.”

He lamented the increasing erosion and
weakening of the democratic structures, adding that the Nigerian
judiciary is not as bad as it is being painted.
Olawepo-Hashim urged
stakeholders in the sector to consider the very difficult operating
environment and the many brilliant output of the judiciary despite the
depressing conditions under which judges and judicial officers operate
in the country.

“Under our justice sector reforms, I have three
major goals which we will not compromise namely immediate end to
oppression of the poor though unjust incarceration; protection of
judicial officers from humiliation through vindictive prosecutions; and
strengthening National Judicial Council NJC for discipline of judicial
officers without executive interference.

“Within my first week in
office, I will order immediate discontinuation of all existing
prosecutions against judicial officers. The Solicitor General of the
Federation will be directed to file Noelle Prosecui for all cases
against judicial officials while referring such matters to the National
Judicial Council.

“I will stop all actions and decisions deemed to be designed to humiliate and disgrace judicial officers.
“To
ease the burden of judicial officers, we will massively deploy
technology, create of more courts, and appoint more judges and
enhancement of welfare of judicial officers,” he said.

Olawepo–Hashim
stated further that he would strengthen the National Judicial Council
to make judiciary a self-correcting institution.

“The NJC will be
empowered to discipline erring judicial officers and we will widen and
deepen the financial independence of the judiciary.
“We will give extensive support for the judiciary to retain independence from executive encroachment.

“No democracy flourishes when organs of government are subjected to authoritarian measures by a sitting president.

“We
must respect rule of law, separations of power and allow checks and
balances put in place to balance the political system,” the presidential
hopeful said.

Source:- Thenationonlineng