The judiciary appears to have taken up the gauntlet. Since the executive made the move to arrest judges in an unprecedented action led by the Department of State Services (DSS) last weekend, the judiciary is fighting back with the weapon at its disposal.
On Monday, judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja stayed away from the court in solidarity with Justice Adeniyi Ademola, one of their colleagues who was arrested by the DSS in the weekend raid. Six other judges across the country, including two in the Supreme Court were also arrested.
Already the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has declared an emergency, saying if the judges are not released unconditionally, they would take action. Also the National Judicial Commission (NJC) has scheduled an emergency meeting for Tuesday.
At the federal high court in Abuja, the reaction was instant – judges simply shunned their cases.
Some of the major cases affected were those involving former Chief of General Staff, Alex Badeh, former Imo State governor, Ikedi Ohakim and the case filed against the House of Representatives by Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited (Shell).