Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has criticised the Court of Appeal’s decision to grant President Muhammadu Buhari’s requests regarding the Appellate Court’s judgment quashing all charges filed against the imprisoned leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, which the government disobeyed.
As a result of the ruling on Friday, HURIWA has characterised the judiciary as the captive of the executive arm of government, adding that the judicial arm of government has lost her standing as the last refuge of the common man.
HURIWA claimed that “by their cowardice in granting a disobedient Appellant a stay of execution, the Court of Appeal has justified the use of self-help measures by disgruntled citizens since it is no longer possible to obtain justice in a court of law and have the government comply with it. Then, the same court will certify the central government’s outrageous indiscipline and treachery in disobeying the unambiguous orders of the court made in compliance with section 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria.”
HURIWA condemned the capitulation to the whims and caprices of the President of Nigeria by the Court of Appeal, wondering why the Court did not insist that the Federal Government first obeys the judgment before appealing.
HURIWA said the Court has been blackmailed into shooting themselves on the leg and thereby amputating justice.
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“Today is indeed a calamitous day for the Nigerian judiciary whereby the wheel of justice was derailed by political correctness and fear of the unknown,” the group said.
HURIWA said it is appalled that the hierarchy of the Court of Appeal was so provoked by the decision of the three-member panel of Justices to quash the charges against Nnamdi Kanu that it reportedly made a punitive transfer affecting a member of that panel even before the belated application for stay of execution was filed.
The rights group questioned the moral high ground of the Federal Government to rush to the Appeal Court after the Federal Attorney General and minister of justice Abubakar Malami has used media platforms to impugn and discredit the panelists who freed Nnamdi Kanu
HURIWA lamented however that despite the publicised notice of intent by the Federal Government not to ever respect the judgment of the Court of Appeal the same court of Appeal certified the illegality and the act of impunity and treachery of the government .
HURIWA recalled that the appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsanami, granted the application FG brought for stay of execution of the judgement pending the hearing and determination of the appeal it lodged before the Supreme Court.
However, the appellate court, ordered FG to within seven days, transmit the record of appeal as well as its verdict on the matter, to the apex court to enable speedy determination of the case.
Carpeting the Court of Appeal for making itself an effective political hostage and captive of the executive arm of government.
HURIWA stated that “the decision to suspend their own well-conceived and legally sound and well-grounded judgment amounted to JUDICIAL SUICIDE by the Court of Appeal and is similar to hitting the DEATH NAIL ON THE COFFIN of judicial independence even as HURIWA said the Appeal Court’s decision is shameful, laughable and irrational.”