The opposition political parties, under the umbrella of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), on Sunday kicked against the request from the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) that banks should make details of accounts of all justices of the Supreme Court available to the unit with immediate effect.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday by its Spokesperson, Mr Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, the coalition described the directive as the latest onslaught by the Federal Government against judges to harass and blackmail them to submission ahead of the Appeal of its Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s coming before the nation’s Apex Court on the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
“We make bold to say that this latest onslaught is part of coordinated plans to blackmail the justices of the Supreme Court, intimidate them and instil fear in them. But this move will backfire. It will fail,” the coalition declared.
According to the coalition, “this request by the NFIU is coming simultaneously with another request from one of the security agency to all mobile telecommunication companies to furnish them with the phone log of all the Justices of the Supreme Court and other listed Nigerians from 1st August 2018 till 10th September 2019.
“We note that while the government tried to hide behind one finger by adding members of the National Assembly to the list of those whose bank accounts are under surveillance, it did not succeed in hiding its intention because it was clear that there was no mention of any member of the executive arm of government in the NFIU letter. Or are there no corrupt persons in the executive arm of government?
“We would not have been so surprised by this latest government action since the same government had earlier ordered a midnight raid on houses of some judges and also removed a sitting Chief Justice of Nigeria in a most controversial manner.
“The same government sent security agents to lay siege on the National Assembly with a view to forcing a leadership change.
“Our concern, however, is that these directives to invade the privacy of the justices clearly guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution is coming at a time the coalition presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is approaching the Supreme Court to contest the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
“Basking in the euphoria of the success of their arm-twisting plot at the Court of Appeal, they are at it again now in the Supreme Court.”
The coalition, however, called on all justices of the Supreme Court “to stand firm, endure the onslaught of the emperor and his ruthless agents and use the word of their mouth on judgment day to bring his reign of terror and stolen mandate to an end and liberate Nigeria from this current nightmare.”
It also called on all lovers of democracy across the world to pay more attention to happenings in Nigeria as the nation’s democracy was being threatened daily by the government’s actions.