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Judges' Arrest DSS arrests two more judges, their bank accounts frozen

A source said the DSS is waiting for the NJC to suspend some of the serving judges so that they can be charged to court.

  • Published:
Department of State Services (DSS) officers. play

Department of State Services (DSS) officers.

(Punch)

The Department of State Service (DSS) on Wednesday, October 12, reportedly arrested two more judges.

This brings the number of judges arrested so far to nine in the recent clampdown on allegedly corrupt judicial personnel.

The seven judges arrested last weekend have however been released on bail but still being grilled by investigators.

The two judges, Justices Bashir Sukola and Ladan Manir of the Kaduna State High Court, were said to have been arrested in Kaduna and taken to the DSS Headquarters in Abuja at about 8.30pm.

Upon arrest, they were immediately taken in for interrogation, a source told The Nation.

It was gathered that six other judges are under probe.

Also, the DSS has reportedly frozen the accounts of some of the judges under investigation - "huge lodgments" were said to be discovered in the accounts.

Report said the affected judges might be arraigned in court next week - all of them are to face trial.

ALSO READ: 'DSS did not act unlawfully,' says Lai Mohammed

Under probe are two Supreme Court Justices – Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro – the suspended Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya, who was picked up in Sokoto; Justice Adeniyi Ademola (Federal High Court); the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike; Justice Kabiru Auta of Kano State High Court; and Justice Muazu Pindiga (Gombe State High Court).

"Some accounts have been frozen through orders of the court. This affects some of the judges. Not all of them", the source told the newspaper.

"We found some huge lodgements that are questionable in some accounts and in addition to that we also observed the inflow of their salaries over a long period without them making any withdrawal at all.

"What that means is that they don’t live on their salaries at all. Those accounts have been frozen but as I said not all of the judges are affected."

On why the judges were yet to be charged to court, the source added: "We are waiting for the action of the NJC. We expect the NJC to suspend them, otherwise it’s like taking a sitting judge to court.

"In the Service, when anybody is being investigated for any serious crime, the first thing we do is to place such a person on suspension.

"After the investigation, such a person would face trial and get dismissed from service on conviction and later face prosecution in the law court."

When asked the likely implication if the NJC refuses to suspend the judges, the source said: "The NJC does not have the luxury not to suspend them.

"We wrote the NJC on Monday but we haven’t received any response."

The source also dismissed the rumours that there was a hot exchange of words between the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed and the Director-General of the DSS, Mr. Lawan Daura on Monday during a session with President Muhammadu Buhari.

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