22nd August, 2011
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called for strict observance of the constitution in the resolution of the crisis of confidence in the top leadership of the judiciary.
Atiku, who made the call in Abuja, said that the judiciary as the last hope of the common man should not be jeopardised.
Atiku in a statement by his Media Office, said he has watched with concern the unfolding and embarrassing drama, which is capable of undermining the integrity of the nationâ€™s judiciary.
Atiku stressed that the path of constitutionality must be followed in resolving the crisis for the interest of rule of law and democracy.
â€œIt is imperative that we apply to the letter what the constitution provides for in respect of issues like this,â€ he said.
He condemned the mismanagement of the working relationship between the Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu and President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, which is now causing the country avoidable discomfort.
â€œIt is in the best interest of our nascent democracy that I wish to appeal to the National Judicial Council (NJC), the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and the Presidency to tread with caution in resolving the issue at stake as doing otherwise may endanger our fragile democracy,â€ Atiku said.
He urged all stakeholders to adopt an impartial disposition in the resolution of the conflict, bearing in mind that undue extremism has the potential of violating the sanctity of the judiciary.
He implored the Nigerian media to exercise restraint to avoid compounding an already bad situation.
â€œThe sensationalization of this issue is not in any way beneficial to democracy and rule of law, which the Fourth Estate of the realm is working to entrench.
â€œAll well meaning Nigerians should work towards ensuring that strict observance with the constitution prevails at the end of the day as we cannot afford a rancorous judicial system,â€ Atiku said.
By Oluokun Ayorinde/Abuja