Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Ekiti Crisis: Court Invaders Must Be Brought To Book – Adegboruwa

Legal practitioner, Ebun Adegboruwa, believes that the two sides in the crisis rocking Ekiti State deserve their rights to fairness but no one has the justification for invading the court and attacking the judiciary.
Speaking during a conversation on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the lawyer explained that while he agrees with the mandate given by the people in voting Mr Ayo Fayose as their Governor, he also feels that the legal process against the Governor-elect’s integrity should have been allowed to go on.
Adegboruwa noted that although he had no personal relationship with Mr Fayose and therefore could not speak on his character, he believed that the people of Ekiti State have voted him as their choice and he has fairly earned his victory.
He, however, also stated that the disruption of court proceedings out of fear of losing the case against him was unnecessary and should not be allowed to continue in Nigerian politics.
He said that there are several avenues to address issues if the Fayose supporters feel that their mandate was being threatened, asides resorting to violence and attacking the judiciary.
There had been an argument by a Fayose media aide earlier on the programme that the invaders of the court were people of Ekiti State who were aggrieved by the attempt to truncate the mandate they had given their choice leader.
Adegboruwa, in view of this, appealed to the people of Ekiti to accept the court as the final place for the resolution of disputes, as violence would only spell doom for the state and the entire nation.
He also berated the E-11 group for the inconsistency in their reaction to the Fayose election, saying they should have withdrawn their case based on logic.
The group had initially congratulated the Governor-elect after he was declared winner in the election, only to later head to court challenging his integrity and eligibility for the Office of the Governor.
You don’t play people by pranks. If you don’t accept the election on principle, you don’t accept it.
Once you have accepted it and you signed a statement congratulating him and saying ‘a winner has emerged, let the state move forward’ then you stand by that declaration and ensure that you avoid things that will create tension.”
Validating his stance of not being on the side of either parties in the Ekiti crisis, the legal practitioner also berated the Governor-elect, Ayo Fayose, for his alleged utterances which he noted where not expected to come from a supposed “father” of the state.
He explained that there are times that judges, during the hearing of a case, might seem to be against a party and at the end still rule in favor of that party.
Using himself as an example of such unexpected victories, he said that there was no reason for the Fayose team to have assumed that the judge was against them.
Adegboruwa warned that the precedence being set by the group responsible for the disruption of the court proceedings and attack on the judge spells doom for the country as many groups might start taking advantage of such actions.
The action of those who feared that judgement may not go in their favour, taking laws into their hands, spells doom for all of us. 
There is no justification whatsoever, on the side of the E-11, or the PDP or the APC. Whoever is responsible for that action must be brought to book, we cannot keep it under the carpet and this is a responsibility for the Police.”
He further argued that if the court invaders are not punished, other violent groups like terrorists and armed robbers would start invading the courts and eliminating policemen who could testify against them in court.
He also stated that the status of the judiciary in Nigeria should be restructured, berating the situation whereby a judge is at the mercy of the Commissioner of Police for protection.
In the normal developed countries, the judiciary is entitled to a detachment of Police formation that is controlled by the CJ,” he said, arguing that the judge, in giving a decision, must be placed in such a way that he is unfettered.
He is not burdened that ‘if I give judgement this way people are waiting for me at home’ and that’s why you see the eye of the judiciary symbol closed. The judge is not supposed to know anybody, whether you’re APC or PDP.”
He also spoke about the need for better welfare for the judges, with reference to the Lagos State judiciary where he alleged that the salaries of judges have not been increased for seven years and they only got their August salary towards the end of September.
Adegboruwa challenged the President and the state governors on the need for the judges to be given more independence and properly armed security to enable them perform their duties.