The President of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Paul Usoro, has declared that judges are afraid of performing duties as expected due to fear and intimidation from the executive arm of government.
Usoro lamented over the “intimidation of judges by members of the executive arm and security operatives”, stressing that judges now “operate under an oppressive and pervasive climate of fear and insecurity.”
He made the disclosure while speaking at NBA’s National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting, held at the association’s secretariat in Abuja.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said: “Our Judges are threatened, intimidated and blackmailed mostly by the executive arms of government and their agencies both at the federal and state levels.
“Our judges cannot deliver justice under a climate of fear and intimidation Justice thrives where and when there is an independent judiciary. There can be no such independence when there is no security of tenure for our Judges. There can be no independence of the judiciary when our judges are intimidated, threatened and blackmailed by state agencies and their officials.
“There can be no independence of the judiciary when our judges are actively coerced by state officials to think and reason only in the manner that those official and, presumably, government want them to think.
“My dear colleagues, as you would observe, I have given you three illustrative instances of the insecurity that pervades our land from the three NBA Nigerian Zones – East, West and North – and that, by itself, makes the point that no part of our country is safe.
“No region is safe, and no tribe is safe. No one indeed is safe. And yet, we have governments in place, at the federal, state and local government levels and the primary business of governments is the protection of lives and property, Indeed, without security of lives and property, everything else grinds to a halt.” he stated.