One has read the responses via letters addressed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) by Justices Adeniyi Ademola, Inyang Okoro and Ogwuta to the arrest and raid of their residences by the DSS and must confess that, he is totally disappointed that these character of men can sit in the sacred temple of justice.Even before looking at the contents of their responses addressed to the CJN, the mere fact that they have conducted themselves in this manner does not do justice to the image and integrity of the bench.
The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria stipulates that to become a judge of the high court, such a person must have been a practicing legal practitioner of not less than 10 years or have adjudicated on civil or criminal matters for within same period of years. To become a justices of the Supreme Court, the qualifications among others, is not less than 15 years legal practice.
Also to become a member of the temple of justice, such a person must be someone of impeccable character and integrity which is not in doubt. These qualifications are non negotiable, no matter the circumstances.
On becoming a judge of either the high court or supreme court in Nigeria, the person must have had a very wide experience of the law and swore to an oath.
Therefore, in view of the above, it snacks of criminal complicity for a judge who claimed to have been approached to compromise his office to keep mute and not make official report of the attempt to the NJC or CJN then, only to come out now that he is under probe for corruption and inform the CJN that the reason why he is under investigation for corruption well over 6 months after, is because an official of the state tried to compromise him and he refused.
These blame game by the judges amounts to a distraction, afterthought, humiliation of the judiciary and an assault on the sensibilities of Nigerians
It is absurd, illogical and unimaginable for a judge to be behaving like common criminals who upon arrest blame the devil or poverty for their commiting crime, by alledging that someone is responsible for his travails.
The questions we should be asking are, even if someone tried to bribe you in the past and of which you claimed, you refused;
1. Did you make an official report?
2. Can you provide any documentary evidence of this attempted bribe?
3. What is the linkage of the attempted bribe then, with this present case of corruption against you?
4. Does it mean that if you were not arrested now for corruption, you will not divulge this information?
5. By not reporting this alledged crime in line with your oath, are you not culpable?
If you ask me, these judges by their utterances are a disgrace to the legal profession because they have desecrated the temple of justice by compromising their office for only God knows how long and will continue to do so, if they are not shown the exit door.
These judges must be suspended immediately from the bench to save the judiciary from further humiliation and the country, further international embarrassment.