On Saturday 8th of October, the Department of State Services DSS stormed the home of judges in different jurisdictions.
Although it is said to be a usurpation of the job of the National Judicial Council, the DSS said it had credible intelligence on the illicit activities of the judges which it investigated before cracking down on them.
Two of the arrested judges are of the supreme court, Justice Slyvester Nwuta and Inyang Okoro while the other two are of the Federal High Court, Adenyi Ademola (Abuja division) and Muazu Pindiga (Gombe division). The house of another judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nnamdi Dimgba was raided but he was not arrested.
The DSS has stated that it has recovered huge amount of cash in different currencies from three of the arrested judges totaling N362,519,611 (at the prevailing exchange rate).
The crack down was unprecedented in the country’s history and many have reacted to this. The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) declared a State of Emergency in response to the clampdown on judges,which it saw as a reminiscent of the style of the country’s past military rulers. The body announced the constitution of a crisis management team, comprising all past presidents of the association.
The NBA called on the president to caution the DSS and demanded the release of all the judges arrested.
DSS has stated that credible intelligence revealed that the judge in the Port harcourt division whose arrest was frustrated by the governor had two million united state dollars ($2,000,000 USD) stashed in his house. They also stated that the service surveillance team noticed that upon frustrating the operation, the judge with active support of the governor craftily moved the money to an unknown location which the service is currently making effort to unravel.
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