Men's Roundtable Judgment Day

The arrest of some judges in the country over corruption charges has confirmed what President Muhammadu Buhari said about the judiciary being his biggest headache.

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The Men's Roundtable play

The Men's Roundtable

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When President Muhammadu Buhari said in his 2015 Independence Day speech that the judiciary is his major headache in the fight against corruption in Nigeria, many people thought he was exaggerating.

Also Read: "Men's Roundtable: Playing to the gallery"

PMB was vilified, castigated and called so many names by members of the judiciary themselves, judges and lawyers alike, saying the president was witch-hunting them.

But like they say downtown, the recent arrest of some judges in the past few days over corruption allegations has blown the anus of the fowl and we are now aware that they are not as innocent as they often claim.

In a press release in the aftermath of the hullabaloo that followed the arrest of the judges made up of those in the Supreme, Appeal and High Courts by Department of State Services (DSS), the Service explained that the arrested suspects were found to possess huge sums of raw cash at home and own choice properties.

Judges of the Supreme Court play

Judges of the Supreme Court (For Purpose Of Illustration).

(ThisDay)

 

 

Part of the statement reads:

"In one of the states where the Service operations were conducted, credible intelligence revealed that the judge had $2 million stashed in his house."

A summary of physical cash, or like we call it, raw cash, recovered from just three of the judges included N93.6 million, $530,087, £25,970 and €5,680.

Can anyone tell me where and how a judge who is a federal civil servant in Nigeria get such amount from if not from proceeds of corruption?

No matter the amount of argument anyone puts up, it will take a very dumb person to believe they got it from their sweat.

It is no gainsaying that some judges actually sell justice to the highest bidder where a man would be charged for embezzling billions of naira but will only be required to pay a percentage of the stolen sum and walk away while a petty thief who, driven by hunger, steals a tuber of yam is jailed for 10 years.

Is it not only in Nigeria that a man who accused of corrupt practices is given a perpetual injunction against any arrest and prosecution by a judge?

They will argue that judges only prosecute cases based on evidence presented to them but what further evidence would they need when huge amounts of money are recovered for a politician and is made to work free as long as he can his way through?

It is only in Nigeria that a governor hides under a useless immunity clause to rob his state blind and at the end of his tenure, goes on to become a Senator and still amass unquantifiable wealth.

The forgery case involving the Senate President is being frustrated by lawyers for their own benefit, forgetting that the people are suffering. High profile cases are made to drag for years just because of the people involved.

And now that this government has taken the bull by the horn and decide to clean that sector, they have come out again with guns blazing, tagging it a blow to democracy.

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Even the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has called the affected judges unfortunate and regrettable but the DSS has said that prior to the arrest of the judges, it had extended invitations to the judicial officers since January when it began investigations but they invitations were rejected as the National Judicial Council (NJC) informed DSS that it was not amenable to 'invitations being extended to judicial officers by departments and agencies of government for any reason.'

Does this outcry mean the judges are above the laws of the land if they are found to have contravened it?

I don't think so. I stand with President Muhammadu Buhari on this.

Do you think the DSS was justified in arresting the judges?»

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