By OBUTE JAMES
The Department of State Services, DSS, has revealed why they arrested Supreme Court, Appeal Court and Federal High Court Judges.
Contrary to some online media reports, Justice of d Supreme Court, who was recommended to President Buhari for appointment as Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Nkanu Onnoghen is not under any investigation.
DSS, has explained that it has, in the past few days, embarked on series of special sting operations involving some Judges of the Supreme, Appeal and High Courts, explaining that the operations were based on allegations of corruptions and other acts of professional misconduct by a few of the suspected Judges.
It stated that it has been monitoring the expensive and luxurious lifestyle of some of the Judges as well as complaints from the concerned public over judgment obtained fraudulently and on the basis amounts of money paid, adding that the judges involved were invited, upon which due diligence was exhibited and their premises searched.
Disclosing this in a statement signed by
Abdullahi Garba, the Service revealed that its searches uncovered huge raw cash of various denominations, local and foreign currencies, with real estate worth several millions of Naira and documents affirming unholy acts by these Judges.
It stated that some of the judges have made useful statements “while a few have declined even with the glaring evidences that were found against them in terms of material cash, documents and property recovered pointing to their compromise.”
The statement continued, “In one of the States where the Service operations were conducted, credible intelligence revealed that the Judge had Two Million United States Dollars ($2,000,000 USD) stashed in his house. When he was approached for due search to be conducted, he in concert with the State Governor, mobilized thugs against the Service team. The team restrained itself in the face of unbridled provocative activities by those brought in by the Governor. Unfortunately, the Judge and Governor also engaged the tacit support of a sister security agency.
“The Service surveillance team noticed that upon frustrating the operation, the Judge with the active support of the Governor craftily moved the money to an unknown location which the Service is currently making effort to unravel.
“Meanwhile, large amount including foreign/local currencies have been recovered. Summaries of these include:
SUMMARY OF RECOVERED MONEY
1. NAIRA – N93,558,000.00
2. DOLLARS – $530,087
3. POUNDS – £25,970
4. EURO – €5,680
“Other foreign currencies were also recovered. This were recovered from just three (3) of the judges.
“These in addition to other banking documents, including real estate documents have been recovered. Meanwhile preparations are ongoing to arraign them in a competent court of jurisdiction in line with the laws of the nation.
“The Service would want to clearly state that it has never invited Justice Walter NKANU ONNOGHEN for investigation, neither is he being investigated by this Service. In addition the Service would like to put it on record, that it has tremendous respect for the Judiciary and would not do anything to undermine it or its activities. The Service will also join hands with this noble institution in its fight to rid it of few corrupt Judges whose actions is undermining not only the Judiciary but the common bond of our national life.
Garba further stated that the current operation will be sustained and followed till sanity and sanctity is restored to the esteemed third arm of government and public confidence is regained.
He called on members of the public to avail the Service of any information which could assist in the current drive to rid the nation of corrupt practices and tendencies.