Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to desist from any act capable of undermining the independence of the judiciary. The Cardinal said, as things stand presently in Nigeria, the judicial arm of government was totally under the control of the executive. In an interview with Good Shepherd, a Catholic Newspaper published by the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja on the sidelines of the 2019 Cathedraticum Mass of the Bwari Deanary at St. James Dawaki, he said with the system being adopted by the Federal Government, judges are longer free to do their work in line with constitutional provisions. According to him, there was strong need to allow judges the free hand to carry out their constitutional duties without unnecessary pressure from the government. He said: “And we have a situation where it appears that the judiciary is being totally controlled by the executive.
Even if it is for good reasons, at the end of the day, it means that we are exposed to a situation where justices, judges are no longer free to do their work according to their vocation. They will be feeling that they are under pressure to pass a judgement that would please certain people.
“Today, it is government, tomorrow it will be another person. That is why many people are worried about what has happened. And this is not about that gentleman called Onnoghen (suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria), he may have been a horrible man. “Perhaps he was a corrupt judge. Well, someone must have recommended him to be at the head of our judiciary. If they are telling us that the entire judiciary is rotten, let them say it clearly. And they will have to tell us how they are going to replace it.” He decried the increase wave of kidnapping and killing, especially Catholic Priests and Seminarians. Onaiyekan said: “We are having a society where there is no safety.