By Frank Momoh
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday evening justified why he distanced himself from the Judiciary even as he said that the Executive arm will continue to respect that arm of government within the boundaries laid out in the Constitution in order to strengthen the country’s democracy.
Speaking at the Iftar dinner he hosted for the leadership of the nation’s judiciary, at the end of the daily fasting, President Buhari said: “I assure you that I have tremendous respect for the judiciary.”
According to him, the order and discipline in society can only be established when the law applies to all, irrespective of position or status, who you are or who you like and without fear or favor.
“I try to keep my distance from you to avoid the perception of interference,” said the President, adding that he was satisfied with the painstaking adherence to due processes by our courts.
The Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, attested to the President’s non-interference in judicial matters, saying: “In all your years in office, at no time, no moment did Mr. President or any other person from you attempt to talk or ask for favors from the courts. We can recall no such attempt by you or anyone on your behalf to interfere with judicial decisions.
“This is a mark of your maturity and sagacity. I am convinced that as you do with the judiciary, so is the case with ministries and other agencies of government.
“With leaders like you who do not interfere with judicial decisions the country can rest assured that all is well.”
The CJF, assured the President that Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges across the court system were doing their best in handling cases before them.
“We try not to delay. No case whatsoever is unduly delayed and all are delivered within the times allotted by the constitution. We are satisfied that we are discharging our responsibilities the way the constitution wants them to be done.” reassured the Chief Justice.