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 sting 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 operatives of the Service
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 and 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 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.
“Large amount including foreign/local currencies have been recovered. Summaries of these include:
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 have been 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 Onnoghen, 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 this Service.”
SUMMARY OF MONEY ALLEGEDLY RECOVERED FROM SOME JUSTICES BY DSS
1. ADENIYI F.A. ADEMOLA
2. NWALI SYLVESTER NGWUTA
3. JOHN INYANG OKORO