Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja division and the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC) led by Prof. Itse Sagay, have been identified as a threat to democracy and justice by a pro-democracy coalition.
Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, CDNDC, in a statement on Sunday, October 16, 2016, by it Co-Convener Ariyo-Dare Atoye, described the activities of Abang and PACAC as capable of “derailing our hard earned democracy if nothing urgent is done to call them to order or institute a disciplinary cum legal action against them.”
“If we must stand for justice and be ready to work for the redemption of our dear nation-Nigeria, we must be bold to speak the truth at all time, while exposing hidden and open threats to our democracy and the rule of law as constituted by Justice Abang and PACAC.”
“The cup of this judge is full. We urgently appeal to the National Judicial Council (NJC) to act speedily and save our democracy from the sting of Abang. His rulings are seen as a judicial aberration, designed to unsettle and destroy the opposition, and by extension undermine democracy.
“We make bold to say that his rulings are now pre-empted by the ordinary man on the street and they have become a national concern to all Nigerians. The NJC is free to sample the general opinions of Nigerians about Justice Abang’s rulings which unarguably are received with disgust across all divides.
“Unfortunately, the people now easily joke with his rulings as a black market purchases: ‘I can always get my ruling from Justice Abang even if it is 3am,’ now the normal joke in public political talks, which has now become a distraction to justice and the judiciary.
On PACAC, the coalition said: “We have closely monitored the activities of Pro. Sagay and his anti-democratic PACAC, and we can confidently say that the committee is a legal wing of a fascist state, constituted to manipulate our legal jurisprudence to advance dictatorship.
“Sagay and his PACAC’s defence of the wicked, mindless and demonic invasion of the residences of some judges and their barbaric abduction, which is nothing but a coup against the independence of the judiciary, have now confirmed our suspicion that the group is out to subvert democracy.
“We must never allow PACAC and some celebrated 1990s human rights community who have now been bought over by this government to do hatchet jobs; to derail our democracy earned with blood, tears, pains and the sheer-will of Nigerians,” the coalition said.
While admitting that there is corruption in the judiciary which must be tackled “within the ambient of our laws and a possible amendment of the laws if there is any lacuna”, the group however observed that “if the executive had embraced on internal cleansing and conduct ten per cent of self-review in the judiciary in the last 16 months, over 60 per cent of our corruption concerns would have been solved.”