• Recovers millions of local and foreign currencies
• Promises to arraign then in court
• Vows to rid judiciary of corruption
• Accuses gov of shielding one of the suspects
THE Department of State Services (DSS) on Saturday confirmed the arrest of three serving Judges over alleged corruption in the nation’s judiciary
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, the Spokesperson for the Service, Mallam Abdullahi Garba, stated that the arrest of the affected judges who he did not name followed series of special operations involving some judges of the Supreme, Appeal and High courts embarked upon by the service in the past few days
Mallam Abdullahi also told newsmen that several millions of money in local and foreign currencies were recovered from the suspects
He also accused a state governor of shielding one of the judges from being arrested and mobilised thugs against the security operatives.
According to him, “these operations were based on allegations of corruption and other acts of professional misconduct by a few of the suspected judges
“The Service action is in line with its core mandate, as we have been monitoring the expensive and luxurious lifestyle of some of the Judges as well as complaints from the concerned public over judgments obtained fraudulently on the basis amounts of money paid
“The Judges involved were invited upon which due diligence was exhibited and their premises searched.
“The searches have 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.
“Some of them 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.
“In one of the states where the Service operations were conducted, credible intelligence revealed that a Judge had two million Dollars stashed in his house.
“When he was approached for due search to be conducted, he, in concert with the state Governor, mobilised 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.
“Large amount including foreign/local currencies have been recovered, summaries of these include:
Summary of recovered money
NAIRA – N93,558,000
DOLLARS – $530,087
POUNDS – £25,970
EURO – €5,680.
While stating that other foreign currencies were also recovered, he revealed that these were recovered from just three of the judges under investigation apart from other banking documents, including real estate documents which were also recovered.
He assured that preparations to arraign them in a competent court of jurisdiction in line with the laws of the nation were in progress.
On the fate of one Justice Walter Nkanu Nnnoghen, Mallam Abdullahi said, “the Service would want to clearly state that it has never invited Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen for investigation, neither is he being investigated by the 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.”
While assuring the current operation would be sustained and followed till sanity and sanctity is restored to the esteemed third arm of government and public confidence regained, Mallam Abdullahi urged the members of the public to avail the Service of any information, which could assist in this drive to rid the nation of corrupt practices and tendencies.