16th October, 2018
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen to protect the institution of the judiciary from the unconstitutional implementation of Executive Order 6 (EO6)
The Party made the call in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan on Monday in Abuja
Ologbondiyan said that Executive Order 6, as well as the travel ban on citizens, were devised to directly interfere in judicial processes and stifle accused persons of resources, under the guise of speedy trial.
These, according to him, had left no one in doubt that the nation was fast sliding into fascism.
He added that it was a direct attempt by the President to suspend sections 6 (6)(b), 36 (5), (6)(d) and 37 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“Section 6 (6)(b) provides that judicial powers of the court shall ‘extend to all matters between persons, or between government or authority and to any person in Nigeria, and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto, for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations of that person.
“Section 36 (6) (d) provides that, “every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence.
“Moreover, Section 36 (5) provides that, “every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proven guilty”.
“Furthermore, Section 37 stipulates that ‘the privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversation and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected”.
Ologbondiyan said that the travel ban, trailing of citizens and attempt to regulate the processes of the court was therefore an attempt to short-circuit the constitutional powers of the judiciary.
He said it was also an attempt whereby the Presidency becomes the investigator, prosecutor and the judge in determination of trumped-up charges against innocent Nigerians.
Ologbondiyan said that the PDP rejected the attempt to return our country to pre-military dictatorship.
“We therefore urge the Judiciary as the last hope of the common man,” to prevent an attempt to turn the judiciary into an instrument of oppression against Nigerians.