The attention of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro,SAN has been drawn to a video that has gone viral showing a Civil Defence official preventing a Judge of the Kebbi State High Court, Hon. Justice Elizabeth Karatu from accessing his court for the purpose of sitting to deliver some judgments reserved for that day.

The Nigerian Bar Association is investigating the incident and will revert upon conclusion of its investigation.

However, the Nigerian Bar Association reiterates the Independence of the Judiciary as a separate arm of government and urges agencies under the Executive arm to refrain from interfering or do anything that will amount to unlawful interference of Judicial functions and perversion of justice.

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Nigerian Bar Association

The Nigerian Bar Association at its National Executive Committee meeting held on the 20th day of June, 2019 in Abuja issued a communique condemning the excessive and unbridled interference in the affairs of the Judiciary by the Executive arm of government. The continued intimidation and harassment of Judicial officers all over the country must stop.

Nigeria is a country of laws. The survival of democracy can only be guaranteed upon the entrenchment of rule of law and separation of powers, particularly the Independence of the Judiciary. The Executive arm of government is not superior to the Judicial arm and must not play the overlord in a democratic dispensation. The lives and official positions of Judges should not be threatened while dispensing their official functions.

The Nigerian Bar Association calls upon the Inspector General of Police to investigate the unfortunate incident of preventing Hon. Justice Elizabeth Karatu from performing her lawful Judicial functions by officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and bring every person so found in the disgraceful intrusion to book.

The Nigerian Bar Association also calls upon the various governments and public officials in Nigeria to obey the laws of the country that they swore to protect and preserve; and respect the sanctity of the Independence of the Judiciary, if this country must move forward.

Kunle Edun
National Publicity Secretary, Nigerian Bar Association.

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