According to reports, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to emulate the judiciary by asking ministers accused of corruption to step aside for proper investigation.
The party made the call in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, on Friday in Abuja.
Adeyeye recalled that the National Judicial Council (NJC) had on Thursday announced its decision to suspend justices facing corruption charges.
The justices are Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court, Mohammed Tsamiya, Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division and Kabiru Auta of Kano State High Court.
Others are Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja; Justice I. A. Umezulike, former Chief Judge of Enugu state and Muazu Pindiga of Federal High Court, Gombe.
Adeyeye pointed out that Justices Ngwuta and Okoro had alleged that they were the targets of a witch-hunt because they refused offers of inducement and bribes from two ministers.
They had named them as Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi and his Science and Technology counterpart, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
He said that the ministers allegedly tried to offer bribe to the judges to subvert the course of justice in appeals against the decisions of lower courts in election petitions in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti and Rivers.
“In order to allow for a fair and independent investigation, it is incumbent on President Muhammadu Buhari to ask these ministers to step aside pending the conclusion of investigation into the allegations.
“The judiciary has set a very good example in its quest to fight corruption.
“It has proven that it is ready to reform itself and we commend the NJC for taking this bold step.
“Likewise, we call on the administration of the president to emulate the NJC,’’ he said, adding that anything less would confirm the belief that the administration considered itself as “above the law’’.
Adeyeye added that it would be a wrong signal if the ministers were retained in the face of the serious allegations against them.
According to him, if such action is not taken, it will imply that the entire judicial corruption saga was a deliberate attempt to blackmail that arm of government.