21 May 2012

Nigeria: TMG Urges Jonathan to Restate Salami

Abuja — A coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations under the aegis of the Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, yesterday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to honour the advice of the National Judicial Council, NJC, and reinstate the former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami immediately.

Addressing a press conference on a wide range of national issues in Abuja, the TMG said the speed with which President Jonathan acted on the suspension of Justice Salami while now foot dragging on his reinstatement as recommended by the NJC "is a systematic erosion of the independence of the judiciary."

Chairman of the TMG, Mashood Erubami said the degree of rot in the country in all sectors "is such that unless something decisive is done now to arrest the drift, the country would appear inexorably heading for anarchy and ruin.

"While the people buckle under the yoke of economic deprivation, joblessness, and all forms of social injustice and malaise, principal actors in all strata of government continue to display obscene opulence and grandeur, a feat made possible by blatant and unabashed looting of the public treasury.

"We call for support from all Nigerians in the struggle to fight off corrupt, rotten and depraved practices that have reduced the majority of our population to mere serfs who only lived to minister to the satisfaction of the low desires of the upper stratum of our."

The TMG further decried the general insecurity in the country, saying "the Federal Government has failed woefully" in its constitutional responsibility of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians.

It also called for the adoption of the recommendations of the Justice Mohammed Uwais report on electoral reforms, especially on the appointment of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The TMG observed that contrary to section 15 (5) of the 1999 constitution which requires the state to abolish corrupt practices and abuse of power, "corruption has almost become official in Nigeria.

The anti corruption agencies have been subjected to the political machinations of the Attorney General of the Federation. Sections 66, 107, 137 and 182 of the 1999 constitution which disqualify persons indicted for fraud or embezzlement from contesting election have been deleted from the constitution through constitution amendment of the National Assembly."

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