- The attackers of the Rivers state high court must be punished, the chief justice of Nigeria has said
- Justice Walter Onnoghen said the attackers are enemies of Nigeria's peace and democracy
- According to the CJN, attack is a show of shame and ought not to be encouraged by any right-thinking member of the Nigerian public
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has assured the public that the attackers of the Port Harcourt division of the Rivers state High Court complex must be punished.
Justice Onnoghen said if the hoodlums were allowed to go unpunished it will only motivate them to launch such attacks on different court across Nigeria at will, Punch reports.
Describing the attackers as "enemies of our peace and democracy", Onnoghen said the attack is “violence against a peaceful arm of government” and “an act of intimidation of the judiciary”.
Some heavily armed hoodlums had on Friday, May 11, attacked the Rivers state high court in Port Harcourt.
The attackers were said to have inflicted bodily harm on members and staff of the judiciary during the attack. They also destroyed some properties belonging to the state high court during the attack.
In a statement signed by the CJN's senior special assistant on media, Awassam Bassey, Justice Onnoghen said the attack is a show of shame and ought not to be encouraged by any right-thinking member of the Nigerian public.
"This latest act of intimidation of the judiciary and the unwarranted violence against a peaceful institution of an arm of government is quite disturbing. More importantly, such show of shame ought not to be encouraged by right-thinking members of the Nigerian Public.
“If the enemies of our peace and democracy succeed or get away with what occurred at the High Court in Port Harcourt, it would be a source of encouragement to them to do same to the Court of Appeal, and ultimately, the Supreme Court of Nigeria, whenever anyone of them perceives that a judgment may be delivered against any of them or the interests they represent," Justice Onnoghen said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Onnoghen had decried the interference of politicians in appointment of judges across Nigeria.
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The CJN said the current system of judges appointment in Nigeria empowers governors to block names of nominated persons for judicial appointment.
Onnoghen said governors can block such names from being sent to the National Judicial Council for scrutiny if the names of the governor’s candidates are not included on the list.
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