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ACN CONDEMNS ONI'S ATTACK ON SALAMI

By NBF News

By DAPO AKINREFON
LAGOS - THE Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has warned that increasing attacks on judges by litigants dissatisfied with their rulings may destroy the nation's judiciary if remained unchecked.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it would be dangerous  if a judge was no longer safe to perform his duty owing to fear of being attacked by litigants.

According to the party, 'The latest of such attacks is the move initiated by former Ekiti State Governor Segun Oni to compel the prosecution of Justice Ayo Salami for alleged perjury, which has led an Abuja High Court in Bwari to grant Oni leave to apply for an order of mandamus compelling the Attorney-General to commence criminal proceedings against Justice Salami.

The move by Oni is nothing but a continuation of the persecution of Justice Salami and, coming after a panel set up by the Chief Justice of Nigeria recommended his reinstatement because he was unjustly removed, is aimed at frustrating the recommendation of the panel. The truth is that while Oni may be in the front, he is actively backed by the PDP and the presidency in ensuring that Justice Salami is not reinstated.

Meantime, the former Governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni has described comment by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, through it spokesperson, Lai Mohammed on prosecution of the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami for perjury as self serving and fraudulent, saying; 'the ACN was only out to defend a man through whom they got black market judgments.'

Oni, who reacted to Lai Mohammed's statement through his Media Aide, Mr. Lere Olayinka said he was not out to denigrate the judiciary but to sanitise the institution and rid it of people, who are soiling its image.

The former governor, who described ACN as the greatest cancer that has infected the judiciary and other notable institutions in Nigeria, asked; 'can Lai Mohammed and his ACN tell Nigerians how many times they have praised the judiciary when court judgments were against the party?'

He said; 'If the same Lai Mohammed that had issued statements to ridicule men of the judiciary when judgments were against the ACN and its interests is the one now condemning perceived attack on judges, then Nigerians should ask questions.

'Nigerians should ask Lai Mohammed and his ACN what interest they have in the Salami issue that the ACN, as a party took up the duty of defending and protecting the judge, who by the evidence of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Dahiru Musdapher before the Justice Umaru Abdullai-led National Judicial Council (NJC) Probe Panel lied on oath.

'The ACN should tell Nigerians what their real interest is in the Salami issue because by the party's reaction to the Tuesday Court ruling on the Order of Mandamus that we sought for Salami to be tried for perjury, it is now clear that the party, ACN, has interests that are different for the uphold of the rule of law in Nigeria.