You’re Not Watchdog Over Judiciary, Keyamo Slams NLC

Former minister of labour and employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, has slammed the Nigerian Labour Congress for saying it will create a hall of shame for judges that undermine the tenets of the judiciary and come up with ridiculous judgements on election petitions.

In a statement on Twitter, Keyamo said those behind the move are known members of the Labour Party which has a petition before the election Tribunal, adding that they could not be a judge in a case they have interest in.

Keyamo also reminded them that they have no power over judges, stressing that the judiciary is only answerable to the National Judicial Council.

The statement read, “Some partisan clowns gathered together and declared that they have constituted themselves as ‘watchdogs over the judiciary in respect of the pending Election Petitions. They have warned of dire consequences if ‘justice’ is not done in the Petitions. Meanwhile, they are members and supporters of a known political party.

“The ONLY constitutional watchdog over the judiciary and judicial officers is the National Judicial Council. It negates the very foundation of one of the principles of natural justice for a party to a case or its sympathisers and/or supporters to say they are constituting themselves as ‘watchdogs’ over the umpire (the judiciary) which is to decide case(s) in which they have an interest.

“That principle of natural justice is nemo judex in causa sua – no person can be a judge in a case in which they have an interest. It doesn’t matter that they are not sitting as actual judges themselves; it only matters that they have a fixed notion of what the ‘justice’ in those cases should be and are attempting to browbeat the judiciary to navigate those cases using their own narrow compass. The think ‘justice’ is what the mob says it is. Very sad.

“This move smacks of brazen intimidation and threat to our judiciary. Even the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) (the umbrella body for all lawyers) has not displayed such buffoonery, effrontery, insolence and arrogance towards our judiciary. There are settled principles of law that no e-thuggery or thuggery, e-intimidation or intimidation and e-nuisance or nuisance will change.

“The most disgusting part of this nonsense is that people who have no scintilla of legal knowledge or experience from legal practice are the ones at the forefront of this so-called comical attempt to be ‘watchdogs’ over the judiciary. It’s like a labourer wanting to superintend over the work of a trained and experienced engineer on site.

“The Nigeria Bar Association must not bow to these cheap tactics and must issue a strong warning to its members not to be seen amongst these jesters or else appropriate sanctions should be meted out on them. All counsel involved in these Election Petitions must also caution their clients not to tacitly or directly promote or encourage such behaviour that seek to threaten or intimidate our revered Justices. The Tribunals and Courts should decide these cases devoid of any kind of intimidation from any of the parties and their supporters.

“I call on all supporters of the APC and all patriots to remain calm and be respectful towards the judiciary and be ready at all times to respect and defend the judiciary and our constitution no matter which way the wind blows. Any attempt to destroy the judiciary (as these characters are bent on doing) is an invitation to another ‘Sudan’.

“Well, just as they often issue the empty boast that they are a different ‘movement’ and the judiciary should not ‘mess’ with them, they will soon realise that the judiciary is also a different kind of institution with which they cannot ‘mess’.”

Related Articles