- Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka has called for the arrest of corrupt people in Buhari's government
- He denies reports that he recommended the arrest of more judges
- Mbaka says he doesn't have the phone number of President Muhammadu Buhari
Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka has denied media reports that he recommended the arrest of more judges in furtherance of the recent clampdown on judges over their alleged involvement in bribery scandals.
Mbaka made this claim in a statement made available to The Nation. He said he was shocked by the report that he called for the arrest of more judges in his sermon during the special church service to mark this years’ legal year organized by the Enugu state judiciary.
According to him, he didn’t call for the arrest of more judges instead he prayed for all the judges showering them with blessings, and at the same time admonishing them to be upright in the discharge of their duties as the last hope of the common man.
He said: “For me, Judges should be beyond corruption because they are like ‘God’; if they make mistake in sentencing an innocent man the person will die in jail. They can save life, they can destroy life. The judiciary should not be merchandized; nobody should think he can purchase justice.
“I raised the question about the arrest; are we sure that the judges arrested are guilty of what they are accused of? For me, if judges could be arrested let them be well examined; if found culpable, punishment could be meted out. I suggested strongly that the arrest of judges should not be selective; that the arrest should be 360 degrees coverage. So if the judges were arrested, what about those who gave the money; were they exonerated?
“While arresting the judges, I suggested that those who gave them the money, if actually they were given money for fraudulent purposes, should equally be arrested. So the arrest should even go to the senators who were found culpable; it should go to the House of Reps, it should even be extended to the executives. People working for Buhari who are corrupt should equally be arrested and that is when the arrest should represent justice, equity and fair play; it should not be only for judges.”
Amid claims that he always quick to defend President Buhari, Mbaka said that he doesn’t even have the phone number of the president.
He said: “So I never asked them to arrest more judges because I have no problem with judges and I don’t even know why the judges were arrested because I don’t speak with the federal government. I don’t even have Buhari’s number; I don’t talk with Buhari so how can I urge people who I don’t speak with to carry out an assignment I don’t know about its origin and intention.
“I couldn’t have said that because many judges are good, many are innocent of what they are being accused of, many are godly; so we lift our caps for those who are good. If there are some who are corrupt, they should repent; and if judges are good it will bring better hope for the common man.
“The revolution that is going on in Nigeria is an attempt to sweep off corruption in all aspects of our lives; in the entire government structure so we don’t make corruption our culture. Revolutions that will exterminate corruption from the tap root because corruption is becoming part and part of our political culture and almost accepted; the war against corruption is a welcome development but should be prosecuted without bias.”
He continued: “Those arresting the judges I pray they should look well and not cause unnecessary earthquake in the Judiciary; the executive is safe; the legislature is safe and the judiciary is under attack. People will raise questions, so let there be justice in whatever arrest they are doing; so I don’t ask them to arrest more judges.
“I equally spoke about the economic recession and I strongly believe that President Buhari should employ more people who can help him implement his political agenda. So why we are praising the president for warring against corruption and insurgency, we still pray that he uses whatever he has to war against hunger.”
Meanwhile, Reno Omokri, an aide to former president Goodluck Jonathan has lashed out at Reverend Fr. Ejike Mbaka for applauding President Muhammadu Buhari.