By Ismaila Chafe
The Presidency on Sunday frowned at those individuals or organisations attempting to link President Muhammadu Buhari to the legal travails of some judges facing corruption charges in the country.
A statement issued in Abuja by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, advised journalists and other Nigerians to stop linking the name of the president to the matter.
Shehu said that Buhari would be “the last person to authorise anybody to induce a judge to pervert the course of justice’’.
He recalled that despite his personal familiarity with some court judges, the president had never used that familiarity to seek favours from them.
According to him, from 2003, 2007 and 2011 when he was challenging the fairness of the presidential election results, from the lowest to the highest courts in the land during the periods in question, he never sought for favour from them.
Shehu also explained that, “as a politician, Buhari had never once ever suggested to his lawyers to approach any judge for assistance to win his cases.’’
According to him, the president lives by this principle and has never deviated from it.
On the fate of the judges facing corruption allegations, Shehu said, “the president doesn’t tell courts how to do their jobs and that anybody accused of corruption is protected by law to defend their innocence.’’
He explained that the purpose of the law was to punish the guilty and acquit the innocent, noting that “the law protects the rights of everyone.
“The president doesn’t have any powers to force any court to convict anybody who is innocent.’’
He stated that in a democratic society, such interference could not happen without resistance by the people