NJC to hold emergency meeting over DSS raid on judges | Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper

Nigerian judges will hold emergency talks Tuesday following the “deeply regrettable” detention of several judges by secret police in a corruption probe, the country’s chief justice said Monday.

At least seven judges were detained by Nigerian security forces over the weekend in connection with allegedly receiving bribes, drawing sharp condemnation from the bar association and from rights groups who described the raids as “unprecedented”.

The Department of State Services (DSS) said it had seized $800,000 (715,000 euros) in cash during the nation-wide sting operation.

In response to the public outcry, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman was forced to defend the raid, saying on Sunday that the executive followed due process and insisting Buhari is a “committed democrat.”

“It is indeed very saddening and deeply regrettable, the distressing and unfortunate incident which occurred on Friday 7 October and Saturday 8 October, 2016,” said Chief Justice of Nigeria Mahmud Mohammed in an Abuja court.

“However, I must ask all Nigerians to remain calm and prayerful, as an emergency meeting of the National Judicial Council, which will take place tomorrow, will comprehensively look into the matter.”

In his remarks, Mohammed praised the Nigerian Bar Association head Abubakar Mahmoud, who condemned the swoop as a “Gestapo-style” operation.

– ‘Rule of law must be obeyed’ –

Buhari, a former military ruler, was voted into power last year on an anti-graft platform.

But critics have claimed his corruption war is being used as a front to sideline political foes.

“The whole world is watching and the explanation by the executive is unacceptable,” said senior lawyer Adegboyega Awomolo in a statement.

“We believe in the war against corruption but the rule of law must be obeyed.”

Human rights lawyer Clement Nwankwo said that the crackdown on the judges was “unprecedented” in Nigeria.

“I have not seen anything like this before. A large-scale coordinated arrest of judges across the country is unprecedented,” Nwankwo said.

“Under the days of military rule you didn’t have judges being arrested this way.”

Since coming into power a year ago, Buhari has kept political opponents — including pro-Biafra activist Nnamdi Kanu and ex-national security advisor Sambo Dasuki — in jail despite court orders granting bail.

Nwankwo said the Buhari government’s disregard for the law served only to undermine its war on corruption.

“When you continue to violate due process then the war can only become weaker,” he said.

“All of this is ad-hoc and temporary, so ultimately there is no lasting reform.”

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  1. Enter your comment...there must be justice no matter who it is for or against. Let there be no sacred cows

    1. Terrorist,who are you always telling to enter comment.....Useless Terrorist buharia supporter

    2. Learn to be civil anonymous 10:11PM. Public domains like this require of you to show respect. Your opinion is all you need to air. If you have nothing to contribute, shun. Nigeria will NEVER succeed if you attempt to adopt the whiteman's values hook, line and sinker without local content. Monarchical autocracy was the local content of European states after Peace of Westphalia Treaty in 1648. Democracy works when there is law and order. Our judiciary has compromised. We cannot sit down and watch them hold us to ransom. There are many unqualified lawyers and judges out there whose successes in universities and Law Schools are questionable. Add that to their rapacious tendencies then you know we are in a terrible state. Law and order is the centrepiece of Democracy. With the calibre of lawyers and judges we have, democracy won't work here.


    4. So..Safari, you are saying we don't need democracy in Nigeria? Let them close all courts and the National Assembly. Let Aso Rock accuse, try a convict and pass all laws, so that w don't follow oyinbo rules! B intelligent

  2. I'm disappointed by this government. Humiliating judges in the name of fighting corruption, the same judges are been use by the same government when favor fail out of them they went after them. Even if the judges are corrupt as calm. Is that the right way of treating people that has uphold rule of law in our nation. Haba kilode obogini weytin.


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