By Chinadu Okafor
Protesters protested peacefully outside the Nigeria Embassy in South Africa on Thursday demanding an independent National Assembly and corrupt free judiciary, as what they observe as judicial recklessness by the Federal Government .
The protest, took place after what they observe as persecution by the CCT over Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki (CON) that is currently facing trial on false asset declaration. The protesters accused CCT of bias and plot to unset the Senate President by all means.
The protesters said that “Our democratic values are broken,” “We need free National Assembly” “Kill corruption in our judiciary ”
And also accused a top government official of trying to conduct a “judicial putsch” and conspiring with EFCC and CCT to unseat Senator Saraki.
This came two day after some eminent jurists, including Nigeria’s prominent constitutional lawyers stepped out to query the ‘unchallengeability’ of the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of the President of the Senate, Dr. Saraki, delivered on February 5, 2016. which granted the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) a quasi criminal jurisdiction to try criminal matters.
While the legal luminaries recommended that Dr. Saraki be given fair hearing, which is constitutionally guaranteed to him before a court of law where there would not be any likelihood of bias, they also called for the re-opening of the investigation on allegation of corruption leveled against the Chairman of the Code Of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, and at the same time advise him to withdraw from presiding over the Senate President’s case.
The eminent jurists comprise of former Justices of the Supreme Court, Salisu Alfa Modibo Belgore, George Oguntade (CFR), Samson Odemwingie Uwaifo, prominent constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, (SAN), Attorney General, Lagos State, Adeniji Kazeem, Chief Nnoruka Udechukwu (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) at an inaugural conference of Ben Nwabueze Centre for Studies in Constitutional Law and Related Subjects titled: ‘The Code of Conduct Enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria and its Crucial Importance in the Fight against Corruption’ held in Lagos recently, said the court of public opinion is a vital bedrock of governance in a democratic society as Nigeria.