It was gathered on Wednesday that the EFCC was bitter because it was already investigating some of the judges, who were arrested by the DSS on Friday and Saturday, as the DSS is perceived to have disrupted ongoing investigations being carried out by the anti-graft agency into the alleged corrupt practices by some judges.
The secret police had, last weekend, arrested Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro, both of the Supreme Court; the suspended Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Tsamiya; Justice Kabiru Auta of the Kano State High Court and Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Also arrested were a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike, and Muazu Pindiga of the Federal High Court, Gombe Division.
According to the report, the Federal Ministry of Justice decided to forward the petitions against judges bordering on alleged corrupt acts to the DSS when the ministry discovered that the EFCC failed to act on previous petitions as expected.
A petition on the withdrawal of over N11bn from the Rivers State Government’s account between October, 2015, and February, 2016 was cited, and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, was said to have directed the EFCC in March, 2016, to investigate the withdrawal, which the ministry described as suspicious.
“From all indications, because of the EFCC’s seeming inaction on some of these cases, the ministry of justice has now resorted to forwarding the petitions to the DSS. Obviously the EFCC is not happy with this,” the source stated.
A top government source, who confided in the newspaper, said the EFCC was also not favourably disposed to investigating some judges, who had assisted in the speedy trial of graft cases instituted by the commission.
The source stated, “The point of disagreement came from the investigation into the petitions. While the EFCC thought that the DSS should steer clear of the petitions because it had already worked on them, the service and the Federal Ministry of Justice insisted that the commission was slow in its investigations.
An EFCC insider reportedly explained that if not for the rivalry, the DSS should have involved the commission in the investigation into the graft allegations against the judges.
According to him, the EFCC has been carrying out discreet investigations into the activities of three judges, which were said to be jeopardised by the raids conducted by the DSS.
“It is a DSS operation. The EFCC is not involved. The raids carried out on the judges’ residents have affected our ongoing investigation into the activities of some of the judges.
“What this has done is that they have alerted those suspected judges. With what they have done, they have alerted them to be careful.”