Ruling on Sacked Rivers Lawmakers, An Attempt to Undermine Nigeria Democracy- Lawyers

 

A coalition of legal practitioners has condemned the ruling of a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt which they accused of trying to undermine Nigeria judiciary.

The lawyers under the Coalition of Lawyers Against Injustice in a statement in Abuja said that they are “compelled to address the recent developments in Rivers State, where a High Court ruling has overturned the decision of another court, sacking PDP lawmakers for decamping to APC.

The coalition in statement signed by its president, Moses Okino on Monday stated the court ruling was a  “brazen affront to the judiciary’s integrity and the rule of law is unacceptable and warrants our collective condemnation.”

 

According to the group, “It is an elementary legal principle that a lower court cannot review or overturn the decision of another lower court or a court of concurrent jurisdiction. This fundamental tenet of our legal system is being recklessly disregarded by the APC in Rivers State, who seem hell-bent on ridiculing the judiciary and undermining our democracy.

 

Expressing their worry over the ruling the group said that “We are appalled by the APC’s blatant disregard for the judicial process and their resort to self-help, which can only be described as a wicked assault on the very fabric of our legal system. This egregious behavior will not only erode public trust in the judiciary but also project Nigeria as a laughingstock before the international community.

The coalition further raised concerns noting that “the allegations of bribery and lack of jurisdiction leveled against the judge, which are serious issues that require thorough investigation.”

 

The lawyers called on politicians in Rivers State and the concerned former lawmakers of the Rivers State House of Assembly to allow the judiciary to do their work without unnecessary interferences.

“We therefore, urge the APC and the former Rivers State Assembly members to desist from this destructive path and respect the sanctity of the judiciary. The courts must be allowed to function without intimidation or manipulation, and the rule of law must be upheld at all costs.

 

“We implore the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Nigerian Bar Association, and all well-meaning stakeholders to rise up against this affront to our legal system and defend the integrity of the judiciary.

 

“We will not stand idly by while our democracy is imperiled by the APC’s antics. We demand respect for the judiciary and the rule of law, and we will take all necessary steps to ensure that this demand is met,” the statement concluded.

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