Arrests Two Supreme Court Judges, 5 Others at Gun Points
By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
In a nationwide crackdown, the Nigerian Secret Police known as Department of State Services (DSS) last night began rounding up judges on the allegation that they aided and abetted corruption in over the years.
Ironically, the judges were those who recently gave rulings against Buhari’s led administration.
According to a source, the arrest of the judges by DSS was in relation to those who allegedly took huge cash to pervert the cause of Justice before, during and after the 2015 general elections.
Blackface News gathered that among those taken into custody last night were two Supreme Court justices, whom a DSS source claimed allegedly played crucial roles in delivering Judgments in favour of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Abia States governorship tussles against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Three judges from Sokoto, Bauchi and Kano were also taken into custody for allegedly collecting bribes, according to a top source involved in the operation.
Similarly, Justice Ademola Adeniyi of Federal High Court judge in Abuja and another one from Port Harcourt who recently ruled against the Ali-Modu Sheriff led faction of the PDP in the ongoing crisis in the party, was also picked up.
Also taken into custody last night, were some court registrars, believed to have aided and abetted the sale of justice.
Another federal high court judge, who lives in Apo area of Abuja, had his house surrounded by DSS operatives as at the time of going to press but the secret police could not break in.
The judge who recently freed a retired Air Force officer accused of taking bribes running into billions of Naira, was scared and was calling for help, not knowing why he was surrounded by armed security men.
A top Federal Ministry of Justice official said last night: “The Federal Government has commenced the arrest and detention of some corrupt judges as part of its effort to cleanse the judiciary. This exercise has just begun and will continue until the bad eggs are flushed out to give the country a new lease of life.”
The gestapo-like arrest of judicial officers by the Buhari’s administration is currently causing an uneasy calm and palpable fear on social media especially among social critics and journalists.
Nigerians are worried why only Judges who ruled against cases where the Buhari’s administration had interest are being arrested for alleged corruption.
A popular lawyer and activist, Richard Akinola wrote on his Facebook page that Nigerians should expect more of impunity from Buhari’s government, stating that Mr President is like a leopard who doesn’t change the colour of his skin.
“If this news is true, some of us who have been supporting this government, would have no choice but to be the opposition. This is rabid dictatorship and an affront on the judiciary.
I had said so previously and l reiterate again, this current DSS leadership would be the albatross of this government, the same way Alhaji Rafindadi became a loose canon and turned the then NSO into the Ton Ton Macoute of Nigeria. The next target is the media. So, journalists, watch out.” Akinola wrote on his Facebook account disparaging Nigerian government.
Emphasizing further, Akinola said If at all Nigerian government have evidence of fraud against the arrested judges, there are lay down rules and procedures guiding how erring officers can be tried, stressing that it is illegal and height of dictatorship for DSS to resort to impunity in the name of anti-corruption war.
“The Federal government cannot hide under anti-corruption fight to blackmail and intimidate the judiciary. Recently, the National Judicial Council (NJC) recommended the retirement and prosecution of a Kano Judge for corruption.
“If the DSS has any evidence against any judge, it should avail the relevant body, that is NJC. What is currently happening is sheer intimidation of the judiciary. The Secretary to the Government was recently accused of corruption, you did nothing. The Chief of Staff bought two property in Dubai, you turned a blind eye.
“Documents were published showing that the Minister of Interior , General Dambazau bought a million dollar house in the United States, you turned a blind eye. Last week, the Dasuki case came up for hearing but the DSS for the third time refused to produce him in court to face trial, even when the EFCC prosecutor was ready. So, all these gestapo tactics of arresting judges at mid night is all red herring.
“Those of you jubilating, when your time comes that police illegally detains you, don’t come and shout rule of law. This is how we nurture dictatorship. Next time, they lay siege to media houses. We fought it under the military and we shall also resist it under a supposed democracy.
“If you have any evidence of corruption against any judge, report them to the NJC or scrap the NJC and herd all judges to detention. No to dictatorship.” Akinola averred.