Nigeria’s political landscape is charged with tension as a series of billboards bearing the message “All Eyes on the Judiciary” continues to gain attention across the country. The campaign, launched by concerned citizens, takes on added significance as allegations of government interference in the judicial process mount. Amid ongoing election petitions and with the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) yet to announce a judgment date for a case concluded earlier this month, the nation’s future seems to hang in the balance.
Initiated by Nigerians who are deeply invested in the country’s democratic ideals, the “All Eyes on the Judiciary” campaign underscores the pivotal role that the courts play in safeguarding the integrity of the nation’s democratic process. The inscriptions on the billboards send a resounding message: citizens are watching closely, and they expect the judiciary to render impartial and just decisions that reflect the rule of law.
The backdrop to this campaign includes allegations of government influence aimed at tipping the scales in favor of the sitting President. These allegations have ignited suspicions that certain agencies are being manipulated to further the government’s interests, irrespective of the mounting evidence against it. The billboards, therefore, carry a dual message — they call on the judiciary to uphold democratic principles, and they serve as a rallying point against potential attempts to subvert the course of justice.
The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has voiced concerns about the “All Eyes on the Judiciary” campaign’s content, citing potential disruptions and public unrest. The Director-General of ARCON, Olalekan Fadolapo, has ordered an inquiry into the matter. However, these concerns raise crucial questions about the limits of free expression and responsible communication in a charged political climate.
Underlying the campaign and ARCON’s scrutiny is the complex interplay between the public’s demand for transparency and accountability and the government’s efforts to retain power. As Nigerians anxiously await the outcome of significant cases, their hopes for a fair and just legal process are balanced against the specter of external influence.
The outcome of ARCON’s inquiry is poised to set a precedent in how Nigerians express their concerns about the nation’s democratic foundations. Against the backdrop of this ongoing campaign is a nation that yearns for a judiciary that remains true to its constitutional role as an unbiased arbiter, resisting any attempts to compromise its independence. As the events unfold, the nation watches, indeed with “all eyes on the judiciary.”