OPINION: DSS Raid On Corrupt Judges and What Is DEMOCRACY By: Princewill Chimereze

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“corrupt judges are the worst set of people  is killing our democracy”

On Saturday 8th October, 2016 the DSS raided the home of some high profile judges in Nigeria. The Said raid has generated irrational outcry by some group and some section of the country. Nigeria’s opposition party the PDP has termed it a “descent into fascism”. Some has said our democracy is in danger, others termed it rape of our democracy.
When you listen to some of these cries even from those who know nothing about democracy but just decide to foam through the nose because others are doing same, you would be forced to really ask what is democracy and who is killing it? According to wikitionary.org Democracy is the Belief in political freedom and equality; the “spirit of democracy”. That’s for dictionary meaning. To those who has opposed the raid by Nigeria’s State security outfit, to them democracy is upholding the tenets of law and doing things the right way.

It’s very funny to see a people choose what is democratic or what is not detrimental to our young democracy. Who really is putting our democracy in danger? A judge who subverts the will of the people and does the bidding of the highest paying politician? A judge who sends a petty thief to long term imprisonment but commits bigger crime and gets away with it? A judge who collects bribe to continuously give conflicting judgement on issues?
To the our democracy is in danger shouting irrational beings,  A politician who rigged election, perpetrated all kinds of violence against his opponent and the people in order to win election is not putting our democracy in danger. He is upholding it. Its even more amusing that a governor was stopping the arrest of a judge. In a democracy? What concerns a governor with the arrest of a judge? How did he get to know? It might interest anyone to know that this same raid was carried out in over five State of the Federation and you begin to wonder where was the governor of those other state? And why did they not also try to stop DSS? A rational answer would help all of us.

As if such nonsense is not insulting to our collective common sense and endangering our young democracy, An electoral case would be brought before a court, the said electoral matter would be glaring even to the blind that it was badly flawed  and Judges would uphold such elections. And those shouting democracy now kept quiet. A politician would loot the treasury of the nation without conscience and care for democracy. When such politician is brought to court,  he bribes his way out of the issue and walks free. He has been given a pat on the back for looting and even encouraging potential looters that we ‘ve got your back go ahead and steal as you like. What kills democracy faster than judgements encouraging looting.

The same noise makers about the recent DSS raid on corrupt judges are the ones who will be the first to scream economy is in recession, things are hard, prices of foodstuffs has skyrocketed. But fail to understand that When these corrupt judges collect bribes, they also contribute to the downfall of the economy and what  should have benefited the common man would be shared among selected few. Is that democracy? A politician steals over a $100 million and bribes a Judge with $2 million from the said loot gets a clean judgement of doing no wrong and he walks freely is that upholding democratic tenets? Or is democracy under siege when some people choose to see it so?

During Election, State security apparatus were unleashed on opposition, some military men were arm banded to carry out shady deals in order to win election for friends and party members in the last dispensation. Where were the today crying “our democracy is in danger illiterates? Money was earmarked for procurement of arms to fight insurgency in the Northeast and same was shared by those whom the present day shouters of our democracy is in danger supported. Then democracy had seen the light  but when those people are called upon to come and answer to their atrocities democracy is being killed. How?

To this same “democracy illiterates” When A sitting governor was denied entrance to the government house of his state, it was democracy in action. When DSS raided the office of an opposition party and carted away with their belongings it was democracy in action. When the security details of a Speaker of House of Representatives was withdrawn democracy was breathing fine. The most surprising thing about all these corruption defending is that it’s championed by downtrodden youths who might not get their desire to lead the nation due to the manner and way the politicians go about politics in Nigeria. How would you win election with the level of violence, ballot box snatching and rigging that has been mastered by this politicians and when such cases get to court, they are even upheld.

“Nigerian Youths what is your gain in defending corruption or supporting those accused of corruption?

This is a call to the DSS to carry out more of this type of raid on anyone no matter how highly or lowly placed the person is. Be more probing, go further, crush things and make sure Nigeria is purged of corruption. Patriotic Nigerians are behind you. I must State categorically that corrupt judges are the worst set of people  is killing our democracy.

I would like to end this piece with a quote from a well respected legal luminary Mohammed Uwais. “A corrupt judge is more harmful to the society than a man who runs amok with a dagger in a
crowded street. The latter can be restrained physically. But a corrupt judge deliberately destroys the moral foundation of society and causes incalculable distress to individuals through abusing his office while still being
referred to as honourable”

To those who still have the ability to recollect their senses and move on from elections loss which was inevitable,  and has be clouded their sense of judgment, I hope a corrupt judge would not handle your case and deny you justice.

Princewill Chimereze @P_Chimereze.
Writer, Public Affairs Analyst and Social Commentator writes From Portharcourt

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