The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has urged the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stop its alleged smear campaign against the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.
Spokesman for the Nigerian leader Garba Shehu said that the reports claiming that the Department of State Services (DSS) had indicted Bulkachuwa of corruption were the latest of this sponsored campaign.
Concise News had reported on Friday that PDP advised Bulkachuwa to withdraw as a member of the five-man panel of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
The party alleged that as the chairman of the panel, Bulkachuwa would likely be biased in the handling of the tribunal’s proceedings because of her alleged ties to family members tied to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
But the presidency, in its response, noted that the PDP causing disaffection between the Executive and the Judiciary by virtue of its call.
“While the PDP and its candidates are free to exercise their right to challenge the results of the 2019 presidential election, it is unacceptable to drag the name of the President or other organs of the executive branch into the campaign of character assassination against the President of the Court of Appeal,” Shehu said.
“The DSS doesn’t conduct its duties in the manner so described and you can’t use a fake security report to drag the presidency into a smear campaign against the President of the Court of Appeal.
“Attacking judges because the outcomes of cases don’t favour you and keeping quiet when the verdict is in your favour smacks of insincerity, double standard and mischief.
“Intimidating and impugning the character of judges in order to force them to bow to blackmail is against the spirit of an independent judiciary.”
He also said, “We cannot keep changing the definition of an independent judiciary to suit our political convenience and bias without ultimately creating chaos in the system.
“If the PDP continues to blackmail and smear judges with fake news stories, we will ultimately find ourselves dealing with a situation where judges may be afraid to handle cases, thereby creating delays in the dispensation of justice.’’