The Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, on Wednesday, called for the removal of ministers fingered by the judges who were accused of corruption, saying they should go through process of law to ascertain their involvement or innocence.
The group also faulted the invasion of the homes of some Supreme and High Court judges by operatives of the Department of Security Services(DSS).
The group stated this after its meeting, in a communique read by the publicity secretary, Yinka Odumakin.
It condemned corrupt practices within the judicial system, but frowned on the approach of the DSS and its mode of approach to the arrest of the judges.
According to the communique, “we cannot be saying that only judges that are accused should be investigated. Ministers too, who have been accused, should step aside and face prosecution.
“For the ministers who have been mentioned for attempting to pervert the course of justice, we are asking that such minister should step aside immediately as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“After that, they should go through due process of the law to either ascertain their innocence or if they are guilty and it is established, they should be punished according to the laws of the land.”
Odumakin said: “No society should tolerate corruption because what is on offer and being sold is justice. A corrupt judge is worse than a thief and what is on offer is justice and that negates the soul of any society.
Therefore, the society must do all it can to ensure that its judges are free of corruption. However, in the present instance, we have a few observations about the modus operandi of the actions against these judges.
“We believe that it is not the duty of the DSS to investigate corruption. Investigating corruption is within the purview of the EFCC, ICPC and the police and if the DSS come across any crime that borders on corruption, it is to gather their evidences and hand over to those agencies of government to ensure that they investigate and prosecute those who are involved in the offence.”
The group, however, called on the National Judicial commission (NJC) “to ensure that all allegations against the judges are thoroughly investigated and those who are found guilty should be dealt with accordingly.
“Those need to be prosecuted, be prosecuted, those who need to be tried be recommended for trial so that we can put sanity into our judiciary,” the group said.
It commended the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) for rising in the defence of separation of powers.
Speaking on the nation’s economy, the group noted that no concrete step had been taken towards revamping the economy of the country.
“We have observed that the nation is yet to see concrete steps being taken to ensure that the nation is taken out of recession. We have not seen any sound policy of the team that is working on the economy at a time like this.
“Nigeria’s economy is parlous, worrisome and disturbing, such that today we have seen it leading to massive loss of jobs, even Dangote is sacking workers. Unemployment, increased suicide rate and untold hardship are being visited on our people,” it added.
The group, however, called on President Buhari “to look for the best hands and brains in Economics across the country, who can be called upon to formulate policies and economic programmes that will take this nation out of recession.
The group also commended the Governor Ayodele Fayose over the steps taken in curbing the activities of the herdsmen in the state and also called on the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the menace.
They, however, expressed disappointment over the threat by the Myietti Allah, harassing the governor and threatening to go against the laws of the land.