Group tasks UN Special Rapporteur on judicial interference by Fed Government
Advocacy group, Access to Justice (A2Justice) has charged the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur, Mr. Diego García-Sayán to investigate the allegation of persistent acts of interference with the functions, independence and judicial authority of Nigerian courts by the Federal Government
The group in a letter dated April 28, 2017 titled, ‘Rule of Law in Real Danger in Nigeria: Need for United Nations Intervention’ stated that the executive arm of Government has ignored its Constitutional, Regional and International obligations, while it continues to flout National and Regional court orders.
The group stated that the present administration have been marked by persistent disobedience of court orders as well as massive and gross violations of human rights.
A2J cited the case of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheik El-Zakzaky, the former National Security Adviser to a previous Government, that is being tried for corruption, Col (rtd) Dasuki Sambo, disobedience of orders to stop forced evictions of residents of the Otodo-Gbame Waterfront Community in Lagos State as well as the case of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who was granted bail last week.
According to A2J, the United Nations stands in a good position to influence the Government to help roll back a culture of impunity that has characterised the Government’s relationship with the judiciary under the present administration.
“We are troubled that there is no one, not even the courts now that can rein in the Nigerian Government or reverse the situation. The persistent recalcitrance to court judgments and orders is setting a new benchmark in executive/judiciary relations in Nigeria, and compromising the ability of the judiciary to act as a check and balance on executive power.
“Given the impunity shown by the Government to orders and judgments of the courts, the judiciary now appears powerless to act as the safeguard of constitutionally guaranteed rights, responsible for holding the Government accountable for the use of State power by exercising its full Constitutional mandate as an independent branch of Government,” the letter endorsed by the groups Deputy Director, Dr. Adenike Aiyedun stated.