By Ibrahim Umar
The National Judicial Council, NJC, following its meeting of 11th October, dares the Department of State Security, DSS, to produce evidence it frustrated investigation of some corrupt judges arrested, and released, recently.
In a communique issued after its emergency meeting, the NJC, said: “The impression created and widely circulated before the public, that the DSS forwarded a number of petitions containing various allegations of corrupt practices and professional misconduct against some Judicial Officers to the Council, and they were not investigated, is not correct”. The judges regulatory body states the invasion of the judges “is a denigration of the judiciary by the
The body also gave some ‘background facts’ about the affected seven judges. According to NJC, no petition was forwarded to it against two of the affected judges, namely Justices Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro.
On Justice Muhammed Ladan Tsamiya, of court of appeal, the NJC debunked the allegation that he received N200 million bribe, but admitted the judge demanded for a bribe. It said it found Justice Tsamiya guilty of misconduct and recommended his compulsory retirement from office, based on a petition by one Nnamdi Iro Oji.
The body said it acted similarly in the case of Justice I. A Umezulike, the chief judge of Enugu, by suggesting his compulsory retirement for gross misconduct, based on the petition against him by Peter Eze.
Moreover, the NJC said it is currently investigating Justice Adeniyi Ademola, of the Federal High Court, Abuja, for corrupt practices based on a petition written against him by Hon. Jenkins Duviegiane Gwebe.
Also, the NJC says Justice Kabiru Auta was investigated on allegations of corrupt practices and recommended him for removal.
Furthermore, the NJC said the DSS failed to prove its corruption allegation against Justice Muazu Pindiga, and reason for which the latter was exonerated.
The body says Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, of federal high court, is currently being investigated on corruption claims. The NJC accused the DSS of possessing a wrong search warrant with which it raided Justice Dimgba ‘s house and manhandled his nephew and driver.
However, the NJC says it has “absolute confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari Administration and its unwavering determination to uphold the Principles of Democracy, Separation of Powers and the Rule of Law”. The body adds that it supports the president’s anti-corruption war.