By Akanimo Sampson
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has sparked off a potential national controversy, saying that Nigeria, the supposed giant of Africa, is sliding into darkness.
“This is because judges in the country are afraid to function in line with their oath of office,’’ says Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He was speaking during a courtesy visit by the National Association of Women Judges, South-South chapter on Tuesday.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, Wike stresses that judges “must’’ always uphold the law.
“The problem with Nigeria today is because people are afraid to say the truth. Judges are afraid. They don’t want to be identified. That is why the country is sliding down.”
While charging judges not to allow themselves to be intimidated by any other arm of government, he regrets that “Nigerians have allowed the country to degenerate so low.’’
Continuing, Governor Wike adds, “whether you like it or not, people will accuse you. So, you must go-ahead to do what is right.
“Whatever you do, people will accuse you. You must understand the oath of office that you took.
“The judiciary must defend itself from irrelevant accusations from other arms of government, noting that the Judiciary should not allow the executive and legislative arms of government to muzzle it.
Earlier, Justice Adama Iyaye-Laminkara, Chief Judge of Rivers, had said judges are in the state for a workshop organised by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime.
The workshop, according to the chief judge, would help the judges to administer justice.
Justice Laminkara pointed out that female judges from the six South-South states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, and Rivers are in Port Harcourt for the conference.