Governor Nyesom Wike has alleged that judges are under political pressure to please some vested interests in the country.
Wike made the claim while speaking at the 61st Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Conference in Port Harcourt on Monday October 25.
The Governor who stated that no excellence can be achieved in the nation’s judicial system, urged lawyers to engage in judicial activism as it will be a deliberate measure to address the slow dispensation of justice, and attempts to stifle the rights of the citizenry.
Maintaining that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and security apparatus have violated the rights of the citizens, Wike berated the Nigeria Bar Association for focusing less on promoting and fighting for the values of good governance, democracy, judicial independence, human rights and the rule of law when there is urgent need for them to do so.
“The invasion on personal liberty has been brazen and indiscriminate, such that even judges of the superior courts, including Supreme Court justices, have in the recent past been victims of midnight assaults on their premises and subjection to unlawful arrests and imprisonments.
“Never in our political history has Nigeria been so badly governed and denied of good governance with the federal government woefully failing in its basic duties to provide for the wellbeing and security of its own citizens as we have experienced in the last six years.
“On a daily basis the economic, social and political rights, including the rights to personal security, freedom of speech, association, dissent and peaceful protests, as well as the right to personal liberty are being violated with impunity by the present central administration and its security apparatus.
“Lately, the new devious trend is to tag security risks to innocent Nigerians and opposition elements and use the Immigration Authority to seize their international passports without a prior court order.”
Wike further stated that it is time for everyone to work collectively towards building a strong legal system that is well-resourced, independent and effective in the administration of justice.