Time to expel corrupt judges

Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja has called for swift trials for seven senior judges arrested on charges of corruption after human rights lawyers warned of a campaign of intimidation against the judiciary.

Oct 20, 2016

ABUJA: Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja has called for swift trials for seven senior judges arrested on charges of corruption after human rights lawyers warned of a campaign of intimidation against the judiciary.

The seven judges, who were later released on bail, were arrested by the Department of State Security Service (DSS), the Federal security service of Nigeria.

DSS also claims to have placed, under investigation, 15 judges and have confiscated $800,000 (715,000 EUR) in the course of raids in the homes of the suspects.

“This case is a very clear demonstration of the confused situation our country is experiencing,” said Cardinal Onaiyekan.

“On one hand we have rampant corruption, including the judiciary; on the other hand these arrests have sparked a heated debate on what the Constitution says as regards the implementation status of judges accused.

“Among the judges under investigation some are part of the Supreme Court. The crisis is therefore very serious,” Cardinal Onaiyekan warned.

However, the National Council of the Judiciary and other human rights lawyers have criticized the investigation claiming to fear that it is part of a maneuver to intimidate the judiciary on behalf of the executive.

“One knows, those who have money can get a favourable ruling. In my opinion it is high time that corrupt judges are expelled from the judiciary, after a clear and transparent trial,” said Cardinal Onaiyekan. “There are a few corrupt judges who should be prosecuted, so that others can continue to do their job.” -- Global Pulse Magazine

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