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Group threatens contempt proceedings against Obasanjo for insulting judge

09 June 2016, 13:58

Lagos - A body of lawyers and rights activists, Legal Vanguard for Rules of Law and Democracy, has threatened tol commence contempt proceedings against former President Olusegun Obasanjo if he does not retract, within seven days, his statement calling a Federal High Court judge “stupid and ignorant”.

In a  press statement on Wednesday by its President, Toluwani Adebiyi, LEVARD said it feared that if not “checked and vehemently resisted, the statement) could mark the beginning of the journey to judicial disaster and inordinate subjugation of our legal system.” 

Obasanjo is alleged to have lashed out at Justic eMohammed Idris following a ruling ordering all past state leaders to account for loot recovered from Sani Abacha, reports News24.

"They said the money recovered from Abacha, I should account for it. What stupidity! The man who asked for it, the man who gave the judgment or who answered them are all stupid, with due respect," Obasanjo was quoted as saying.

Also read: Obasanjo has no right to call a judge stupid - Lawyer

But LEVARD in the press statement said Obasanjo failed to treat the court with decency.

The statement read in part: “If he (Obasanjo) feels he  is more than everybody and so can say anything to anybody, not to the court; the court cannot be desecrated, his act is contemptuous of the integrity of the court

"He has not treated the court with decency…he cannot take advantage of the inability of judges to publicly react to such outbursts as the nobility and conduct of their offices demand.

"Obasanjo was the only one out of those concerned who resorted to public criticism of the judge, His action is laden with suspicion and this necessarily calls on the government to beam its searchlight to unveil the corrupt practices under the Obasanjo era.”

"We called on the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), “to commence immediate execution of that judgment, (and) anyone found guilty or wanting in respect of the loot must be publicly exposed and dealt with.”

We demand a retraction of Obasanjo’s statement failing which, “we shall take steps to move the court to bring a contempt charge against him.

- News 24


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