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Nigeria’s Executive Intimidating The Judiciary, Says Lawyer

“There is currently intimidation of the judiciary by the executive. There is definitely that.”

A lawyer and activist, Affiong Affiong, has said that the judiciary seems to be under intense intimidation from the executive arm of government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Affiong, speaking about expectations ahead of the hearing of the bail application of pro-democracy activist, Omoyele Sowore, on Friday, expressed concerns about the courage of the court to do the right thing according to the law.

She said, “There is currently intimidation of the judiciary by the executive. There is definitely that.

“The question will be whether the judge will be courageous enough to stick with the law and do the correct thing or whether they will give in to political pressure.

“This is a concrete issue that is behind the scene but that will determine which way the matter will go.”

She said the Department of State Services had continued to disobey court orders because Nigerians had failed to hold the agency accountable.

She added, “The DSS is only behaving like that because Nigerians have not had the courage to stand up and insist that the different arms of government must obey the law.

“This is not peculiar to Sowore’s case, they have been doing it for quite a while and nothing has happened.

“The judiciary is supposed to be an independent arm of the government. Unfortunately, they are not as independent as the law says they should be.

“They are still under the intimidation and control of the executive. The legislature has more independence than the judiciary.”

Affiong called on the Nigerian Bar Association to defend the judiciary against intimidation.

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