Calling it the most audacious display of disrespect and sacrilege against the temple of justice that is constitutionally institutionalized to be neutral and politically impartial, a pro-democracy group – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the chief judge of federal High Court to order the dismantling of a campaign billboard of All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman Mr. Adams Oshiomhole mounted strategically in front of the court’s complex for days now.
Besides HURIWA has faulted the decision of the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice Alhaji Abubakar Malami (SAN) to desecrate his high office by administering the oath of office on the partisan chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr. Adams Oshiomhole after the NATIONAL convention at the Eagles Square. HURIWA wondered why a private senior lawyer affiliated to the political ASSOCIATION such as the erstwhile national legal adviser was not tasked with the partisan job of conducting the swearing in of the chairman of one amongst the over 65 registered political parties in Nigeria.
In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said by virtue of section 150(1) of the Nigerian constitution of 1999 (as amended) the holder of the office of the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice, is the chief law officer of the federation and not of a political party. The Rights group cautioned the current federal Attorney General and minister of justice to stop forthwith from abusing his official privileges to service partisan interests.
On the campaign billboard of APC strategically mounted in front of the Federal High Court, HURIWA says it symbolizes that the nation’s judiciary may have become a conquered territory of a band of political warriors belonging to the All Progressives Congress (APC). It expressed shock that the positioning of this campaign billboard is done in such a way that international and local visitors to Abuja would think that the Federal High Court’s Complex at the Abuja Central Business District is the secretariat of the All progressives congress.
“The siting and location of such a partisan and mundane political contraption such as a campaign billboard in such a sacred place whereby the Federal High Court is located is an affront to the constitutional tenet of checks and balances and is offensive to the neutrality and independence of the judiciary”.
“We are shocked that the hierarchy of the judiciary including the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court have over looked such a grave sacrilege of the sanctity of the judicial system as symbolized by the location of the billboard of a politician just by the fence of the Federal High Court’s complex.”
“We demand a public apology from the APC and an immediate action by the leadership of the federal High Court to cleanse the monumental damage done to the image and sanctity of the judiciary by the location of a campaign billboard by the fence of the Federal High Court”.