Presidency: Buhari carrying out surgical operation on corrupt judges
The presidency says the recent raid on the houses of judges by the Department of State Services (DSS) is not targeted at the judiciary as an institution, but at corruption.
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said this in a statement on Sunday.
On Friday night, DSS operatives besieged the homes of some judges across the country, arresting them.
At a news conference on Saturday, the secret police claimed it recovered huge amounts of money from three of the judges. However, the action of the agency has generated debates, with some Nigerians calling President Muhammadu Buhari a dictator.
But Shehu says the president is a committed democrat who will not violate the constitution.
“The presidency assures [Nigerians] that the president reserves his highest respect for the institution of the judiciary as the third arm of government,” he said.
“To this end, the president will not do anything to undermine its independence.
“President Buhari remains a committed democrat, in words and in his action, and will not take any action in violation of the constitution. The recent surgical operation against some judicial officers is specifically targeted at corruption and not at the judiciary as an institution.
“In a robust democracy such as ours, there is bound to be a plurality of opinions on any given issue, but there is a convergence of views that the country has a corruption problem that needs to be corrected.
“But reports by a section of the media are giving us cause for concern. In undertaking the task of reporting, the media should be careful about the fault lines they open.
“It is wrong to present this incident as a confrontation between the executive and judicial arms of government.
“The presidency has received assurances from the DSS that all due processes of the law, including the possession of search and arrest warrants, were obtained before the searches.”
Shehu added that the insinuation that the government was acting outside the law in a dictatorial manner is to breach the interest of the state.