POST.NG President Muhammadu Buhari is currently under pressure to intensify his ongoing anticorruption crusade in the Judiciary.
A civil society group has demanded that all judges recently arrested and released by the Department of States Security Services, DSS, be given a 7 years jail term, if they are found guilty of corruptly enriching themselves and subverting justice.
A group under the aegis of Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice, CHRSJ, which is drawn from; The Christian Awareness Mission Group, CAMG, Passengers Fundamental Rights Group, PATRGIA, The Islamic Political Awareness Group, TIPAG, Centre for Social Justice and Equity of Nigeria, CESJEN, and Veteran Groups for Operation Clean Crusade, VGOCC.
Others are: Apata-Aiyeraye Social Political Volunteer Group, ASPVG, De-Mainstream Independent Group, DMIG, Coalition Against Illegal Arrest & Unlawful Detention, CAIA&UD, Centre for Constitutional Rights and Counter Corruption, Crusader, Save Lagos Group, SLG, The Conscience Mainstream, TCM, African Masses Voices for Survival, AMVS, The Christians Youths for the Peoples’ Rights and Development, CYPRD, and Islamic Movement for Muslims’ Rights, IMMR, among several others.
According to them, any corrupt Judge found guilty of corruption by any Court of Competent Jurisdiction should bag jail term of 7 years in consonance with sections 98, 99 and 494 of the Criminal Code of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 172 & 209 and part 5th schedule, part 1 of section 6&8 of the amended 1999 Constitution.
While decrying the recent approach of DSS, in arresting Judges of the Federal High and Supreme Court, over corrupt practices by invading their Houses with unconventional weapons, which is inimical to the code of conduct of a security agents, the group advised President Buhari to extend its anti-corruption crusade to the State Judiciary of the Federation, where the corrupt practices have been nurturing to the highest ebb.
The group speaking through its National Coordinator, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman, said, “The fight against the cancer of corruption in Nigeria should be dealt with frontally because the menace has affected every segment of our society which impeding the nation’s socio-economic and political development and growth.
“With the revelation from the operation of the men of the Department of State Security Service, DSS, that millions of naira was met in the houses of the affected Judges, thorough, credible and unbiased investigation should be conducted into the whole saga and all the affected Judges should be prosecuted according to the law of the Land.
“But, by not following the rule of law in the fight against corruption may capable of disturbing the struggle against the menace.
“By now, the Judiciary, particularly, the Bench should purge itself of corruption which has been in the highest ebb in the arm of government because with the happening in the judiciary today, our Country is going to extinction.
“The Bench that are supposed to be in the vanguard of crusade against corruption now, soiled its hand with the bribery scandal and no fewer than Seventy–Five percent (75%) of Nigerian Judges since 2007 are billionaires through ill-gotten wealth.
“All the Judges that participated in Election Petitions Tribunals since 2007 till date should be investigated and after found guilty, their ill-gotten wealth and property should be confiscated to become the wealth and property of the country”, the group said.
It concluded by calling on the President to strengthen the anti-graft agencies, such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related offences Commission, ICPC in order to be able to track 21st century financial crimes.