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‘You cannot be corrupt and expect to be respected,’ Sagay says

Sagay made the comment in response to the recent arrest of some judges across the country by the DSS.

Professor Itse Sagay

Sagay made the comment in response to the recent arrest of some judges across the country by the Department of State Services (DSS).

Read excerpts of his interview with Vanguard below:

What is your position on the DSS raid on the homes of some judges and justices?

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Prof. Itse Sagay I can respond to this as Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption because we have an official position, and that position is: There is nobody that is above the law in this country.

The only people who are enjoying immunity against criminal prosecution are president, vice president, governors, and deputy governors.

Anybody outside this group is totally subject to the full weight of the law for any crime he/she commits. Why we look at the judiciary, with all respect, is that we expect them to conduct themselves in such a manner that they are totally above suspicion.

So, any judicial authority that wants to maintain that aura and authority must be credible. You cannot be corrupt and expect to be respected. You cannot reduce yourself to a level where you are purchasable, where what I will call irresponsible and low type of lawyers will carry money to you and buy your soul and you sell your judgment.

The highest bidder will now hand over money to the judge. So, when you bring us down to that level where nobody can determine the outcome of a judgment based on arguments, the law and facts, then you have destroyed the judiciary.

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Those judges, who are corrupt have destroyed the judiciary and nothing is too much for their punishment. Who are the corrupt persons? They are the politicians and lawyers who share part of the proceeds of crimes.

These politicians and lawyers are stabbing Nigeria one after the other and our blood is flowing. Judiciary has stabbed Nigeria. If they want to destroy Nigeria, we have to uproot those people for our country to survive.

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