The Presidency, on Sunday, broke its silence on the allegations of inducement raised by two of the judges arrested recently, saying President Muhammadu Buhari would never authorise anybody to induce a judge to pervert the course of justice.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.
That was the Presidency’s first official reaction to allegations by two of the embattled judges, who claimed that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, approached them allegedly on the instruction of the President to influence decisions on election cases.
A Justice of the Supreme Court, Sylvester Ngwuta, who was one of those arrested by the Department of State Services between October 7 and 8, had, in a letter dated October 18, 2016 and addressed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, alleged that Amaechi had impressed it upon him that the President was interested in the judgments of the Supreme Court on Ekiti and Rivers elections going in favour of the All Progressives Congress.
Another apex court Justice, John Okoro, had also claimed that Amaechi told him that the President and the APC mandated him to inform him (Okoro) that they must win the governorship election appeals in Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Abia states at all cost.
But Shehu, in the statement, advised journalists and other Nigerians to stop linking Buhari to the travails of the judges.
“President Muhammadu Buhari would be the last person to authorise anybody to induce a judge to pervert the course of justice,” he said.
The presidential aide noted that despite his personal familiarity with some judges, the President never used that to seek favours from them in 2003, 2007 and 2011, when Buhari challenged the fairness of the presidential election results, from the lowest to the highest courts in the land.