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Judges: Presidency Absolves Buhari From Clampdown; Denies Alleged Instigation

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN NIGERIA) – The Presidency has advised journalists and other Nigerians to stop linking President Muhammadu Buhari to the legal travails of some recently arrested Judges in the country.

Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, Sunday in a statement he issued in Abuja, said President Buhari would be the last person to authorize anybody to induce a Judge to pervert the course of justice.

Malam Shehu recalled that, despite his personal familiarity with some court Judges, the President had never used that familiarity to seek favours from them from 2003, 2007 and 2011 when he was challenging the fairness of the Presidential election results during the periods in question.

The Presidential aide also explained that, as a politician, Buhari had never for once suggested to his lawyers to approach any Judge for assistance to win his cases, adding that Mr. President lives by this principle and has never deviated from it.

On the fate of the Judges facing corruption allegations, Shehu denied that the President did not instigate Courts on how to do their jobs and that anybody accused of corruption is protected by law to defend his innocence.

He explained that the purpose of the law was to punish the guilty and acquit the innocent, noting that the law protects the rights everyone.

Shehu said the ‘’President doesn’t have any powers to force any court to convict anybody who is innocent, arguing that in a democratic society, that cannot happen without resistance by the people’’.
The Presidency’s denial followed allegation over a week ago, by Justices Sylvester Ngwuta and John Okon of the Supreme Court, that Ministers of Transportation and his Science and Technology counterpart, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and Dr. Ogbonaya Onu respectively approached and instigated them to compromise the rulings of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti and Rivers State Governorship elections.

According to the judges both of whom were among the seven alleged of corrupt practice and arrested October 18, 2016, the alleged Ministers were quoted by their accusers to have said they were acting on the instructions of Mr. President.

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