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NBA, chief justice to decide fate of judges accused of graft


Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Mahmud Mohammed

Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Mahmud Mohammed

• Fix meeting for Thursday to harmonise positions
• ‘Why lawyers insist on suspension of judicial officers’

Nigeria’s body of lawyers is to meet with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to take a harmonised position on the fate of the seven judges being investigated by the Department of State Services (DSS) and save the judiciary from further embarrassment.

Our Exco members will be meeting the Chief Justice of Nigeria on Thursday to harmonise these issues; I do not think we should blow this up anymore,” Mr. Monday Ubani, second vice president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) told The Guardian in an exclusive telephone interview yesterday.

The DSS raided the homes of the judges during separate operations in the early hours of October 7 and 8 and arrested two justices of the Supreme Court — Iyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta. Others are Kabir Auta of the Kano High Court, Mohammed Tsamiya of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin, Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court Abuja, Muazu Pindiga of the Gombe High Court and the Chief Justice of the Enugu State, I.A Umezulike.

The NBA is pushing for the suspension of the judges from official duties until the DSS concludes its investigation. The lawyers now have the support of the body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) which reportedly met on Saturday in Lagos with the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in attendance.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria,Mahmud Mohammed, who also chairs the National Judicial Council (NJC), in response to NBA’s call to suspend the judges, said the DSS had yet to send any formal petition to the NJC. The NJC is a federal executive body created by law to insulate the Judiciary from the interference of the Executive arm of government and guarantee its independence as a separate arm of government.

Justice Mohammed in a statement on Saturday hinged the decision of the NJC not to suspend the judges yet on the rule of law, arguing that the misunderstanding was between the NJC, which was established by the Constitution and DSS, which ‘belongs to the presidency.”

The CJN described the call by the NBA as “unnecessary and hasty since the said judicial officers are still being investigated by the DSS.”According to Ubani, the lawyers’ position on the matter is being misconstrued by Nigerians. “The NBA says we should not ridicule the Judiciary any further by charging sitting judges to court. That’s what we mean,” he told The Guardian.

“Stepping aside will pave the way for trial. It does not make sense charging a sitting judge. It will further undermine the power and sanctity of the Judiciary.”

Ubani explained that the NBA remained strong in condemning corruption and in supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft crusade.“We want a corruption-free judiciary but in fighting corruption, it should be done within the ambit of the law,” he said.

In this article:
DSSMahmud MohammedNBA
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  • Artful ºDodger

    If indeed there is any honor or morality left in the miserable excuse for lives of these people do they seriously need any of these before they can do the honorable since the disgusting shameless excuses for judges wont go by themselves? There is something seriously WRONG with black people!

    • Basil Ogbanufe

      My brother the problem is not with the black people but with the white people.

  • Basil Ogbanufe

    1. “….a corruption-free judiciary”?! Can this be possible in Nigeria, considering federal character?

    2. “…fighting corruption, it should be done within the ambits of the law”. Really?! With federal character?

    • Ola

      It’s unfortunate and very nauseating some of you believe there cannot be a corruption-free judiciary. It’s the same attitude and belief that everyone is corrupt that got us in the mess we are. Tell us what hope the common man has without a corruption-free judiciary?

      Why can’t we have corruption-free judiciary? If judges act professionally and shun unholy alliance with corrupt politicians/businessmen, they will always find themselves delivering judgments that will stand the test of time.

      What’s your point with federal character? In as much as I’m not a fan of that principle, I recognize that it calms some nerves in certain instances. Federal character doesn’t mean appointing mediocre into position as you wrongly assume.

      • Basil Ogbanufe

        1. If not for federal character the current president PMB who does not know where his first school leaving certificate is will certainly not be president.

        By the way what are your thoughts of a man who can’t account for his own personal document, isn’t he a mediocre if not worse?

        2. How can a corruption-free judiciary be possible when the average Nigerian is corrupt?

        3. Is there a common man in Nigeria?

        • COSH_Truth_is_Bitter


        • Arabakpura

          Do you know the reason why companies who are in litigations with their former employees boast of not being afraid of lawsuits? Because they can afford SANs who are the conduits of bribery who will collect monies from these companies and pass them on to compromised Jurists thereby frustrating genuine employees cases! That’s just one way that common people suffer in Nigeria! If this type of thing can be stopped, companies will be mindful of their actions and not believe they can pay their ways through their infractions!

    • Tayomi

      This country can change if all repent.

      • Basil Ogbanufe

        But even the promoters of change have refused to repent.

        What next then?

        • There is a slogan that change begins with the crusaders of corruptions & as far as we are in support of the fight against corruption & not a different strokes for a different people, so if we agreed that they judges must vacate their posts pending the outcome of DSS investigations, then the change must begin with the person accused of occupying the highest post in the country with forged certificate. Let him step aside to show example to all, that the change actually begins with him.

        • Tayomi

          Na im be STALEMATE.
          There is enough evil in the land already.

          • Basil Ogbanufe

            That is, fish stinks from head down.

  • Ulo

    Shame the devil (because the devil is lying dormant in all of us until deployed) and bring all of us, “EQUALLY” before the law to face justice.

  • marc umeh

    83 Nigerian soldiers missing and NO nigerian newspapers considers this newsworthy
    SHAME !!!!!!!!!!
    SHAME !!!!!!!!!!!
    SHAME. !!!!!!!!!!

    • Arabakpura