SERAP Seeks UN Support Over Attack on Judiciary

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has urged the United Nations, UN, Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, to investigate the recent reports of attack on courts and judges in Ekiti State.
SERAP’s executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, in a petition dated September 29, 2014 said, “Apart from violating the rights of the judges to personal dignity and security, the attacks also constitute a threat to the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and the entire justice system.
“The attacks amount to improper interferences and pressures on the judiciary, and can undermine the smooth function of justice, public confidence in the rule of law, effective enjoyment of human rights, and ultimately lead to people taking the law into their own hands,” the petition said.
The organization further stated that the impunity of such acts of intimidation and harassment could also have a chilling effect on other judges and thereby influence the quality of their work negatively.
The group said any attack against judges was an attack against the constitutional and internationally recognized right of the people to access justice.
“We are also concerned that attacks, intimidation and threats against judges and lawyers are likely to increase ahead the general election early next year.
“The Nigerian government has an obligation to provide a conducive environment and to guarantee that judges can do their job without intimidation and without risking their safety,” the organization also said.

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