Some protesters invaded the Supreme Court in Abuja on Wednesday demanding that the serving judges recently arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Services on the allegation of corruption should step down pending when they would clear their names.
The protesters under the aegis of The Forum of Non-Governmental Organisations in Nigeria, were prevented by security operatives from entering the apex court’s premises.
Led by the group’s chairman, Mr. Wole Badmus, the protesters brandished placards with various inscriptions such as, ‘Stop corruption before it stops you;’ ‘Don’t get it twisted, judiciary is not on trial, only corrupt officials are;’ ‘Justices are to interpret the law, they are not empowered to interpret hard currencies;’ and ‘When a judge stuffs illicit cash in his shoes, water don pass water.’
Another inscription on a placard also read, ‘In the struggle to salvage the judiciary, every onlooker is either a coward or a traitor.’
The group later made a detour and stopped over at the entrance of the National Assembly which is located in the Three Arms Zone of Abuja as the Supreme Court.
At the gate of the National Assembly, Badmus said his group was prepared to mobilise 50 other groups to besiege the courts of the affected judicial officers, if they failed to step down.
The group threw its weight behind the battle by President Muhammadu Buhari to rid the judiciary of its bad eggs.
Badmus said unless something was urgently done, the few bad eggs in the judiciary would spoil the good ones.
He said, “That is why we have decided to add our voices to the raging controversy over the arrest of some judges and justices over alleged corruption.
“And we are calling on them to step down now until they clear their names of the allegations levelled against them.”
The group called on the Federal Government to caution Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State over their alleged abuse of their immunity by using it to obstruct the course of justice.
The group was referring to the alleged involvement of Wike in mobilising against the planned arrest of a judge in Port Harcourt by the DSS operatives between October 7 and 8.
Fayose also reportedly prevented the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from arresting the wife of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, in Ado Ekiti, recently.
Badmus also lamented the alleged silence of the Nigeria Labour Congress and its sister union, the Trade union Congress, on the recent arrest of judges.
The protesters called on the NLC and the TUC to join the anti-corruption movement if they could not lead it.