By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – Scores of Protesters on Wednesday, besieged the Three Arms Zone where the Supreme Court is situated, demanding that all judges facing corruption allegations must step down pending their trial.
The Protesters, under the aegis of Forum of Non-Governmental Organisations in Nigeria, FONGON, insisted that all the seven superior court judges that were arrested by the Department of State Service, DSS, between October 7 and 8, must vacate the Bench.
They said the ‘step down’ protest became necessary “since the conniving National Judicial Council, NJC, is not willing to suspend them”.
Meanwhile, heavily armed security operatives comprising of Soldiers, DSS and mobile police men, blocked the protesters from gaining entrance into the Supreme Court complex.
Immediately the crowd which brandished several placards and banners were sighted, security men who said they acted upon instruction “from above”, quickly closed the Supreme Court gate.
People going inside the court premises were thoroughly searched even as those without valid identification card were turned back.
Following the development, the apex court which originally fixed six cases for hearing, decided to conduct proceedings inside chamber.
Addressing journalists at the Aso Villa gate, leader of the group, Mr. Wole Badmus, said they would mobilise Nigerians to besiege courts presided by the accused judges, should they fail to step down.
“Even though the arrested judges/justices have not been declared guilty by any court of law, they have been tainted in the court of public opinion and their positions are no longer tenable until they have been able to clear themselves of all allegations against them”, Badmus added.