The Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC,says it has observed with great dismay Governor Nyesom Wike inciting four newly appointed judges into the Rivers State judiciary to resist attempts by the National Judicial Council, NJC, to discipline erring colleagues in the State.
In a statement issued and signed by the State Spokesman-elect ,Senibo Chris Finebone, stated that the governor handed down the incitement while inaugurating four new judges (Popnen Sylvester Sunday, Daketima Gabriel Kio, Chinelo Chidubem Odili and Nsirim Chinwe Amanda) at Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday.
“According to Gov. Wike: “If what is going on now is not stopped by NJC, I can assure you no political matter will go before any judge and that judge will have any courage to handle such matter. The intimidation by NJC on these judges is quite alarming and I have to say it clearly: if you don’t give your judges support to do what they’re supposed to do, then let us better forget that in 2023 that we will have it easy. From next year (2022), it will be very turbulent and so matters will come before judges, allow them to dispense the matter the way they think it is.”
“It is obvious that Gov. Wike was psyching the new judges to walk the path of a few judges whose conduct lent to the belief by Nigerians that a section of the Rivers State judiciary operates as the infamous ‘Wike judicial supermarket.” We view the reason for the incitement of the new judges as a response to the recent axing of Justice Okogbule Gbasam by the NJC for his unprofessional handling of the case between Wike’s PDP hirelings versus the former National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus”.
“Rivers APC is concerned that it was this notorious clique of judges in the Rivers State judiciary that do the political dirty work for Gov Wike directly as in the case of former PDP national Chairman or indirectly by sending all APC matters to them through the Chief Judge of the State at the behest of the governor. We need not recall what Rivers APC went through in the hands of those judges from 2018 to date”.
“However, APC salutes the courage of majority of judges in the State judiciary who have maintained and protected the dignity of their persons and that of their calling by distancing themselves from Gov. Wike’s corrupting chalice. This class of impeccable judges disdainfully reject or return such mischievous matters for reassignment by the State Chief Judge. To these judges we salute your courage and urge you to continue on your path of honour. You deserve as of right whatever favours the governor believes he has done for you; it is the money of Rivers people and not his personal money. Refuse to be cajoled or goaded to pervert justice, knowing that God has a record of what you do with the earthly power that providence has thrust upon you”.
“To the new judges, Rivers APC admonishes you to disappoint the governor by sticking strictly to your moral and professional ethics in discharging your duties remembering that you rank next to God in view of the powers your job bestows on you. Use it correctly so that you will not have explanations to make to your Creator on Judgment Day. Ignore the governor as he has barely 17 months to cease to be governor but your career stretches far beyond 2023”.
“To the few bad eggs in Rivers State judiciary who share the same ethos with Gov Wike on greed and criminal acquisition of earthly things, money and power, we in Rivers APC have a word for you: vanity upon vanity all is vanity, so says the Scriptures”.
“Need we recount that Gov Wike’s quest for power has sent many to their early graves and these include security personnel. A number of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) personnel are either facing prosecution or have been jailed long years for receiving bribe from Gov Wike to compromise elections. The latest is Justice Gbasam who handed down many curious rulings in matters concerning Rivers APC only to be found wanting and punished by the NJC. Despite being said to be an intelligent legal luminary, his record will remain forever dented by the NJC punishment. Gov Wike will leave power in 2023 but Justice Gbasam’s dented record will remain dented forever”, the statement read.