From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has raised the alarm over plot by security agencies to arrest the State Chief Judge, Justice Adams Iyayi-Lamikanra.
Wike stated this in Port Harcourt at the weekend, while speaking at the occasion marking the beginning of the 2016/2017 Legal Year in the state.
He called on the Nigeria Police and Department of State Services (DSS) to investigate the allegation and unravel the individuals behind the recent moves to arrest the Chief Judge of the state.
He vowed that the State government would ensure judges in the state were protected and not humiliated.
The governor declared that any attempt to humiliate, muzzle and weaken the nation’s judiciary under any guise would not be healthy for the stability and progress of the nation’s democracy.
Governor Wike said the attacks on the judiciary “stands to be condemned by all those who can see the danger in such brazen actions by state agencies that are subject to our laws”.
The governor said that the judiciary must be independent and effective to enforce the universal application of the rule of law.
According to him, the absence of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary was a recipe for anarchy.
He said: “It serves no useful purpose to be desperate or hysterical with the fight against corruption. Thus, it remains unacceptable when unorthodox mechanisms not warranted by law are applied in the so-called fight against corruption.
“For some of us, the provocative invasion of the residences and subsequent arrest and detention of serving judges and justices of the Supreme Court in the dead of the night cannot by any stretch of imagination be justified as appropriate in a decent society.
“Granted that judges are not above the law, but at the same time, they do not deserve to be assaulted, stripped of their dignity and treated like common criminals on mere suspicion and unproven allegations of misfeasance.”
The governor also took time to berate the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for aiding the Rivers All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the forthcoming rerun elections in the state through the printing of fake election result sheets .
He said: “Even now, INEC is doing nothing to convince the world that the outstanding elections they have suddenly and reluctantly fixed for December 10, 2016, will be free, fair and credible.
“Rather, they have already started the sabotaging process by giving out the security codes of result sheets to agents of the opposition All Progressive Congress to enable them have replicas of INEC’s result sheets with which to easily rig the elections. “