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Judges to hold emergency meeting after DSS raids

By Editor   |   10 October 2016   |   3:15 pm

Mahmud MohammedNigerian judges will hold emergency talks Tuesday following the “deeply regrettable” detention of several judges by secret police in a corruption probe, the country’s chief justice said Monday.

At least seven judges were detained by Nigerian security forces over the weekend in connection with allegedly receiving bribes, drawing sharp condemnation from the bar association and from rights groups who described the raids as “unprecedented”.

The Department of State Services (DSS) said it had seized $800,000 (715,000 euros) in cash during the nation-wide sting operation.

In response to the public outcry, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman was forced to defend the raid, saying on Sunday that the executive followed due process and insisting Buhari is a “committed democrat.”

“It is indeed very saddening and deeply regrettable, the distressing and unfortunate incident which occurred on Friday 7 October and Saturday 8 October, 2016,” said Chief Justice of Nigeria Mahmud Mohammed in an Abuja court.

“However, I must ask all Nigerians to remain calm and prayerful, as an emergency meeting of the National Judicial Council, which will take place tomorrow, will comprehensively look into the matter.”

In his remarks, Mohammed praised the Nigerian Bar Association head Abubakar Mahmoud, who condemned the swoop as a “Gestapo-style” operation.

Buhari, a former military ruler, was voted into power last year on an anti-graft platform.

But critics have claimed his corruption war is being used as a front to sideline political foes.

“The whole world is watching and the explanation by the executive is unacceptable,” said senior lawyer Adegboyega Awomolo in a statement.

“We believe in the war against corruption but the rule of law must be obeyed.”

Human rights lawyer Clement Nwankwo said that the crackdown on the judges was “unprecedented” in Nigeria.

“I have not seen anything like this before. A large-scale coordinated arrest of judges across the country is unprecedented,” Nwankwo said.

“Under the days of military rule you didn’t have judges being arrested this way.”

Since coming into power a year ago, Buhari has kept political opponents — including pro-Biafra activist Nnamdi Kanu and ex-national security advisor Sambo Dasuki — in jail despite court orders granting bail.

Nwankwo said the Buhari government’s disregard for the law served only to undermine its war on corruption.

“When you continue to violate due process then the war can only become weaker,” he said.

“All of this is ad-hoc and temporary, so ultimately there is no lasting reform.”

In this article:
DSSMahmud Mohammed

  • vic



    • ewucanbeer

      The word on the street is that the next Chief Justice of Nigeria is southern and one of those arrested! Only three names mentioned but 7 arrested? Booharia is tempting fate!

      • amador kester

        This saga takes another dimension if what you are saying here is true. I do not support corruption and that means that the past of every serving and served chief justice must be probed .. Or else it would seem that there was a specifically targetted set up for a specific agenda. This crusade should never stop halfway with sacred cows after they had appointed a chief judge. We are watching this melodrama

  • Dunu Anselm

    This is an abominable act. Buhari and his ravenous party APC are trying hard to kill not only our democracy but also the country it self. Nigeria’s well-wishers both local and foreign should stand up and condemn this kidnapping of judges in the middle of the night. This was how Idiam

  • Comfortkay

    Mr Nwankwo should know by now that there is nothing anywhere in the world like Human Right.
    Is it there right of the judges to take bribe?
    When a huge amount is found in your home then we are talking of money laundering and that is a Mafia method.

  • benny

    Am sorry this will be my suggestion——let the Military take over, so that corruption fight will be military style. Because this is not democracy at all, first it was national Assembly ,now the judiciary. And yet there is corruption going on in this government. Take for example Nigerian embassies abroad, when Nigerian go for renewal of passport, they are forced to pay monies without receipt otherwise your passport will not receive attention and the ambassadors are aware of all this. Especially the Nigerian embassy in Washington dc.

  • Tantolorun

    If the military wants to come, they are welcome. This corruption fight must be total!. If you live in the US, and someone collected money from you without receipt, God will help you. I wish many people would take a second look at someone who committed economic sabotage. Buhari is a military man who knows the ABCs of military coup. Apart from killing a Nation’s pride, these people would finance a coup sometimes if the ill-gotten wealth is not recovered. Can you imagine the Nigerian soccer team begging for food in Brazil? before the glare of the whole world?, if the government can not pay salaries because of the greed of some people, how would Nigeria fight a war in case of external aggression. Buhari, please fight on, even you are not fighting enough, God is on your side. When the fly was licking the man’s wound, nobody said anything, but when the man kills the fly, people are now complaining, so the adage says.

  • Waalay Naija

    The DSS will not go after a judge if they do not have overwhelming evidence of wrong doing against the judge.I cannot believe the utter nonsense and rubbish posted as comments on the social media.These are the same people who will jail you if you steal 200 naira and claim their hands are tied.Yet they are accused of collecting millions of our dollars for various services…What due process are we seeking in the face of overwhelming evidence. What is sacrosanct about a judge who is accused of collecting bribes. This is better for our democracy as both parties are guilty of bribery and corruption

  • Waalay Naija

    DUE PROCESS made us loose the chibok girls we should have raided sambisa within the first 24 hours.perhaps we would have saved some of the girls. The same due process would have allowed the evidences disappear from the judges houses ala Wikee style in portharcourt. Any clean Lawyer or judge has nothing to fear.

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