Leave Judiciary Alone, Former NBA Boss Tells Politicians
Posted: 29/Sep/2014

A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Onueze Okocha, has called on politicians in Rivers State to leave the state judiciary alone and allow it to function in the interest of the masses.

Okocha, who was reacting to the crisis rocking the state judiciary, blamed the situation on the attitude of desperate politicians who wanted to use the strike embarked upon by the state judiciary workers to achieve their selfish aims.

“Of course, politicians have a hand in the crisis that is rocking the state judiciary. Politicians must leave the judiciary alone. They must allow the judiciary to perform its function of dispensing justice,” he said.

The judiciary workers in the state had been on strike since June 10, 2014, over the crisis of who should become the chief judge.

Okocha, who spoke in Port Harcourt, explained that politicians could only seek the intervention of the judiciary by bringing their matter to the court and not to intimidate or influence it unduly.

He said he was worried by the action of some youths in the state, who tried to prevent the most senior judge in the Rivers State High Court, Justice Daisy Okocha, and her colleagues from holding a meeting in the court.

Describing the court as a temple of justice, the former NBA president said the youths who protested at the High Court premises desecrated the temple of justice by invading the court.

On the invasion of the courts in Ekiti and Rivers states, Okocha said the action of political thugs could endanger the third arm of government and the country’s democracy.

He recalled that courts in Nigeria was never invaded during the military regime and wondered why the reverse had been the case in a democratic dispensation.

“It is only when politicians take their case to the judiciary that judiciary should come in. What is happening in Ekiti and Rivers states where thugs invade the court can intimidate the judiciary and when this happens, the delivery of justice becomes difficult,” he said.

Maintaining that the Rivers State judiciary was not on strike, the former NBA president said it was wrong for the State High Court to be under lock and key due to the industrial action by junior staff of the courts.

He added that the state House of Assembly and the High Court had not being allowed to function because some people were afraid that the governor could be impeached.

“The process of impeaching a governor cannot start from the state chief judge. It is unimaginable that the judiciary in Rivers has not functioned for the past three months and litigants are frustrated by this development,” he said.

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