Buhari ‘President should tell DSS to stop kidnapping judges,’ Falana says

Falana explained that criminals might take advantage of the raids to kidnap and possibly kill judges across the country.

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President Muhammadu Buhari play

President Muhammadu Buhari

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Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the Department of State Services (DSS) from raiding judges’ homes at night.

Falana explained that criminals might take advantage of the raids to kidnap and possibly kill judges across the country.

The lawyer made the comments during the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) week in Enugu state.

“Now my warning is this; if the government does not stop the SSS from carrying out midnight raids in the home of judges, the danger is this; criminal elements will wear masks and invade the home of judges at night, kidnap them and kill some of them to the embarrassment of the government,” he said.

“I do hope that President Buhari will restrain the SSS from further kidnapping judges in the night, but if they don't stop, I am also asking judges never to open their doors at night because this was our own resolution in 1990.

“The danger of invading the homes of criminal suspects at night, no matter what the gravity of the offence may be is that you never can say the legality of such action. Under successive military dictatorships, the SSS subjected me to several raids.

“They raided my home regularly. On April 8, 1990, outside the raid of my house at about 4.15am, I was arrested and taken away and after driving around Lagos, I was dumped in the bush along Epe road. At about the same time, another team went to the home of Beko Ransome Kuti, kidnapped him and took him to Badagry road and dumped him in the bush.

“We returned and addressed a press conference where we made people believe it was done by the Babangida government, not knowing that it was done by those planning to execute the Orkar coup in 1990. The whole idea was to get the human rights community to hate the Babangida regime in preparation for the coup. Our abduction took place on the April 8 and the Orka Coup took place on April 22.

“My submission is that the ongoing embarrassment of our judges which is unfortunate, I am saying that we are to blame for it. As lawyers, in our bar meetings, in our bar dinners and even in courts, we point accusing fingers on corrupt judges and lawyers. The NBA knows all corrupt judges but we simply refuse to move against them. It is because of our failure to address the insatiability of a few judges and lawyers that everybody is now lumped together and we are now talking about judicial corruption as if all our judges are corrupt.

‘I have said it elsewhere and I want to repeat that majority of our judges are working under difficult circumstances but they have refused to be corrupt, the same thing with lawyers. Therefore, since our judges cannot speak, NBA can speak,” he added.

ALSO READ: NJC suspends Justice Ademola, 6 others over alleged corruption

The DSS, in October, arrested a number of judges across the country on allegations of corruption.

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