Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman, a human rights activist and Executive Chairman of Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the authority of the Department of State Security Service (DSSS) to follow due process of law in its operation over the ongoing arrest and investigation of some Judges for the allegation of corrupt practices which was against the Code of ethics of judicial officers, condemning the brigandage way and manner in which the affected Judges were arrested by the Operatives of the State Security Service in the mid night and early hour of Saturday.
Sulaiman, however, praised the Federal Government under the watch of President Buhari by taking the bull by the horn in cleansing of the judicial sector of the Country which was the last hope of common man, from corrupt practices, insisting that due process of law should be followed in dealing with this mindboggling national embarrassment in the nation’s judicial system as Nigeria was not a banana republic where there was no rules guiding her conduct.
In a signed statement by the rights activist and made available to newsmen on Sunday, disclosed that nobody should be seen to be above the law and the arrested of any corrupt public officials should be dealt with, according to the law of the land, alleging that the act of corruption was speaking volume to the highest ebb in the judicial sector of the country under the watch of the outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Muhammed Mahmud, adding that President Buhari should set up an unbiased independent panel of inquiry with the international best practices ,to investigate the administration of Justice Mahmud as Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council(NJC).
Sulaiman, who doubles as Chairman, Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEOS), recalled that Justice Mahmud as Chairman of the apex judicial body in the land, tactically ease out the courageous and incorruptible Osun Judge, Justice Olamide Folahanmi Oloyede from the bench, for exposing the corrupt practices of a Sitting Governor through a Petition as a private citizen to the State House of Assembly, calling on President Buhari to look at the inhuman verdict of NJC against the incorruptible and honest jurist.
He added by describing the incorruptible Justice Oloyede as Prophet of truth, courage and justice and also a woman of great character and intellectual prowess, who sacrificed the comfort of her office to expose Rauf Aregbesola’s government corrupt inclination, advising Buhari not to limit his anti-corruption crusade on the Federal High Court ,Court of Appeal and Supreme Court Judges alone but to extend the crusade to States High Court Judges who had been in the habit of highest bidders to get their judgment.
He then urged President Buhari to revisit Justice Oloyede’s matter and use his good office to return her back to the bench in order to help his anti-corruption crusade in the country, noting that Oloyede is a woman of rule of law who believes in using the temple of justice to change Nigeria for better.
CHRSJ boss maintained that the menace and cancer of corruption in Nigeria should be dealth with frontally according to the laid down rules and regulations, saying that the corruption has been the canker worm that has eaten deep into the fabric of our judicial system under Justice Mahmud which made the sector to lose confidence before the public and international community, adding that nobody should above the law of the land as law was still higher than any individual.
According to him; “The level of corruption in our judicial sector had been enormous to the extent that common man does not believe in the court process again as the last hope of common man because the court judgments are not meant for lower class of the society but for highest bidders. President Buhari should not encourage the brigandage approach of the men of the Department of State Security Service (DSSS) in the fight against corruption because we are in a democracy and civilized society. The action of the operatives of State Security Service in arresting the affected Judges is totally condemnable and unacceptable; they should not be treated like common criminal when there are procedures to be followed by security agents.
“At this junction, we must tell ourselves the bitter truth which is the beauty of our activism. The raw cash, if truly meet in the House of those Judges, are not augur well for the nation’s judicial officer who should live above board and it is condemnable for public officers to keep such gargantuan raw cash of different currencies in their private residences and the law should be allowed take its due course in this mater. Following this revelation, if it is true, Nigeria has finished. I will use this medium to call on well meaning Nigerians at home and abroad to stop promoting class interest corruption. This is high time for Federal Government to give more teeth to the anti-graft agencies in the land if truly want to stamp out corruption in the land and State Security Service should be stopped to perform the duty of the anti-graft bodies”.
Sulaiman therefore called on the President Buhari to call the agents of the State, particularly, the men of Department of State Security Service (DSSS) to order in this matter by not returning Nigeria to 1984 episode where the rule of law were suspended and rule of might were invoked by the then Buhari Military Government, stating that “Nigeria is operating Constitutional democracy where the Constitution is supreme and bind on every Nigerians. Judicial immunity should be also respected as nobody is covering corruption in any form”.