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Jonathan to politicians: Don’t blackmail judiciary when you get power

Jonathan to politicians: Don’t blackmail judiciary when you get power
January 15
08:27 2023

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has asked politicians to allow the judiciary to perform its constitutional functions without undue interference.

Jonathan spoke on Saturday during the book presentation and reception marking the retirement of Kate Abiri as the chief judge of Bayelsa.

The former president urged politicians not to be blinded by the political power which they wield.

Jonathan also advised judicial officers to uphold the virtues of impartiality and courage in upholding the rule of law, adding that such virtues are significant in the delivery of justice.


The former president acknowledged the role played by Abiri in the swearing in of Nyesom Wike as governor of Rivers in 2015, following a leadership crisis in Rivers state judiciary.

“I advise politicians that while in office, let us not try to blackmail the judiciary because it is conservative,” Jonathan said.

“When we get political power, we get so blinded. Politicians should know that society is changing.


“Today, we are celebrating our retiring chief judge because she has served meritoriously.

“In 2015, she left Bayelsa for Rivers to perform the swearing-in of the governor, thereby averting anarchy.

“It appears that the judicial arm is more functional than the executive.”

On his part, Douye Diri, governor of Bayelsa, commended Abiri for her outstanding achievements during her 15-year term as chief judge of the state.


Diri described Abiri as a legal icon who rendered meritorious service in her three decades of legal practice.

He said the state would still require her services and wealth of experience.


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