Why we arrested high ranking Judges – DSS
The Department of state security says it swooped on the homes of some judges in a sting operation to uncover proceeds of corruption. Briefing news men at the headquarters of the secret police, an official of the agency said the action was based on allegations of corruption and unprofessional conduct brought against the judges.
Abdullahi Garba said the serving justices involved are those of the supreme and appeal courts and judges of the high court.
In a statement signed by 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.