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Judges' Arrest Why DSS released judges accused of corruption

The CJN was said to have met Buhari after the arrests, and fingered some of the officials in his govt who offered the judges bribe.

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Department of State Services (DSS) officers. play

Department of State Services (DSS) officers.

(Punch)

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has been accused of shielding corrupt judges from being prosecuted even after the body finds them guilty of corruption.

According to Sahara Reporters, which cited sources at the Department of State Service (DSS), the security agency had written to the NJC a month ago about the criminal misconduct of some of the judges who were arrested over the weekend.

But the Chairman of the NJC, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, who is also the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), allegedly refused to let the judges be interrogated.

It was also alleged that before the invitation was extended to the judges by the DSS, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had made attempts to interrogate judges with whom they found substantial sums of bribe money but the NJC insisted the body's sanctions on the judges were enough.

The sources, according to the online news portal, said that in most cases, the NJC's sanction on corrupt judges is compulsory retirement, leaving them to enjoy their loot.

The DSS had on Friday and Saturday carried out overnight raids and arrests of some judges of the Supreme, Appeal and the High courts across the country on allegations of corruption.

Mixed feelings trailed the arrests, with some describing the action of the DSS as illegal and others applauding the move.

However, many Nigerians were shocked when it emerged on Sunday that the judges had been released on bail, as against the DSS' earlier statement that the accused judges would be charged to court Monday, October 10.

ALSO READ: Inside the very 'corrupt' world of Nigeria's Judiciary

Sahara Reporters quoted sources at the Presidency as saying that Justice Mohammed had met with President Muhammadu Buhari after the judges' arrests, demanding their release.

He was said to have informed the President of some persons in his administration who had offered bribes to the judges to influence recent election cases.

The report said based on this, Buhari ordered the release of the judges pending their arraignment in court.

Pulse has not independently confirmed these claims as at the time of filing this report.

Is the DSS' raid on the judges legal?»

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