Why SSS arrested judges, raided their homes – Attorney General, Malami

Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami
PHOTO: Daily Trust
Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami PHOTO: Daily Trust

The raids carried out weekend by the State Security Service on residences of senior judges were routine investigations, and were legitimate, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, has said.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Mr. Malami said the government had resolved to fight corruption, and would not be deterred by class or reputation of suspects.

“Once crimes and criminality are concerned, nobody is an exception. I think the undertone should be exclusively the consideration of the existence of a prima facie case; existence of reasonable grounds for suspicion of commission of a crime,” he said.

“And if there are, no member of the legislature, judiciary and executive can definitely be exempted from investigation. I think where we are now is the point of investigation and that is what is taking place.”

Mr. Malami said the search and subsequent arrest of seven judges were steps in an ongoing investigation that even constitutionally guaranteed immunity does not prevent.

“The bottom line is that we have a responsibility to fight corruption. Corruption is a crime and nobody, regardless of how highly placed, is exempted as far as issues that border on crimes and criminalities are concerned.

“The limited exceptions, as we know constitutionally, are the exceptions of immunity. And to the best of my knowledge, those exceptions do not apply to investigation. For those that are conferred with the immunity, the right to investigate has not been taken away constitutionally.

“So, I think the framework and the circumstances within which we are operating are clearly whether there exists the right to investigate or not, and whether the action borders on criminality,” he said.

The SSS raided the homes of seven judges in six states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory between Friday night and Saturday morning.

During the raid, the SSS said it recovered a huge stash of money in local and foreign currencies. Seven judges were arrested, and have since been released on bail.

Those arrested include Justice Sylvester Nguta and John Okoro of the Supreme Court and Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court Abuja.

Others are Justice Muazu Pindiga of Gombe State; Kabiru Auta of Kano State, Innocent Umezulike, of Enugu State and Justice Mohammed Tsamiya, an appeal court judge in Ilorin.

Reports of their expected arraignment went round on Monday. But while journalists waited at a Magistrate Court in Life Camp, Abuja, where they were expected to be arraigned, officials confirmed that the judges had been released.


DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD:DIABETES Is CURABLE! Don't Let It Threaten You! To NORMALIZE Your Blood Sugar In 21Days For Life, Click Here!!!.


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


  • Du Covenant

    Thank you for the clarification. Provided everything is done legally, I am all for it. No one should be above the laws of the land regardless of what position you occupy or how how tall and mighty you think you are. We reject a George Orwell’s society in Nigeria!, we want a society where all citizens are equal before the law. If you bring disrepute to your office, no one should respect you in return.

  • agbobu

    I BELIEVE THAT EVERY REASONABLE PERSON AND PATRIOTIC NIGERIAN MUST BE COMMENDING NOT CONDEMMING THE AUTHORITIES FOR CHECK MATING CORRUPTION AND ABUSE OF OFFICE. CORRUPTION IS A VERY UGLY CANCER WORM OF INIQUITY THAT IS DESTROYING NIGERIA AND IF THIS IMPUNITY IS NOT COTAINED VERY PERMANENTLY, THERE WILL BE NO COUNTRY NIGERIA WE CAN CALL OUR OWN. FIGHING CORRUPTION WITH ALL THE MIGHTS AT OUR DISPOISAL IS A VERY PATRIOTIC TASK THAT MUST BE PERFORMED.

  • bala

    Hear him O’ all men, Corruption is now stealing in Nigeria let all the PDP talakwas and their corrupt judges understand clearly that it is grand larceny.

    • ayobamiba

      Bala it is funny reading some of you hypocrites and pretenders pointing accusing fingers to others while swimming in the ocean of the same thing you accused others.why some reasonable people who see beyond the charade going on today are bothered about their nation ,is because this particular war of buhari particularly is not designed nor intended to stop ,kill or exterminate corruption in Nigeria but rather to forcefully colonize the hearts and loyalties of some Nigerians who are not on the same page with buhari politically and religiously. As you rightly said ,it is a war against all those who have any iota of likeness ,leaning or affiliation with PDP and that is not good for our nation .the danger in it is that it is a waste of time, effort and resources of our nation and much more a debasing of our hard fought democracy and rule of law.if buhari is sincere, let this war be made holistic and all encompassing and let’s see if some of you hypocrites taunting Nigerians will not be first casualties. If the real anti corruption war is brought to malami s door step ,he will be a casualty because surely he can’t justify his assets with his incomes ,likewise more than 95% of this sai barbarians making noise on air.don’t get me wrong ,by my faith and state of life, I hate corruption with passion, and I know that corruption in all its branches is the reason why Nigeria is on edge because for example, nepotism, bias,clannishness,discrimination etc are forms and branches of corruption, and when Nigeria rises in unison against corruption, Nigeria shall move speedily to join the comity of developed nations.hand picking people for corruption war is hypocrisy and deciet to me.if the houses of all Nigerian judges are searched,more than 99% of them will be on the same shoes with those beign harrased .what is the underlying motivation to go after only seven out of more than 10,000 .this is my worry not the celebrations by worst corrupt felons because those they hated is on the radar.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    I wholeheartedly support and unreservedly endorse the raid on the residences of criminals who are pretending to be judicial officers. As a matter of fact, the shameless basta*rds should have been summarily executed. Can you imagine the irony in felons like them sitting in judgement on matters concerning corruption when they are themselves irredeemably corrupt? On this issue, I am at one with the Administration of senile, illiterate certificate forger and perjurer Muhammadu (alias Customs and Exercise, French Franc and President Michelle of Western Germany) Buhari.

  • Ewens Lawson

    No sacred cows any longer. The NJC and NBA are the two most dangerous entities on earth. There is no injustice other than corruption. Corruption is equal to injustice, and the root cause of terrorism is Injustce. Our Judges are terrorist in disguise.

    • NwaIgbo

      Yes, NJC and NBA are the enablers of corruption, they prefer thieves and criminals undisturbed while corruption destroys the nation. In Nigeria this is not a noble profession.

      • Evidence

        That is why the only saint of the country, Mohammed Buhari has replaced them as the Noble Judge of the federation and DSS the impeccable Media lawyers.
        Sign of progress indeed.

  • Wilfred Bankole Ademokun

    Good job, well done. NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.

  • Emmanuel Fidelis

    Are you the one signed their warrant of arrest? If not something is wrong.has dss invaded a home of legislator at night, or invaded a home of executive at thesame hour if not why the judges? There’s no way for president to be the one appointing for cheif justice of nigeria. If he does sir without any offence, you are acting on his behalf. And i can’t trust your judgement.

  • henry

    Carry on it is war against corruption, you don’t smile to fight war let the brothers and sisters of corruption keep on wailing. We Nigerian with good conscience hail PMB. Pls corrupt people we beg you don’t support Buhari we don’t need your support . God’s support is enough .

  • Isiagwo

    In one word: Tyranny.

    • IG

      Its always Tyranny in the eyes of PDP when its comes to cleaning out corruption in Nigeria. Sorry Isiagwo this is just the beginning so please tell your bosses to get ready to be arrested for looting our treasury

      • Really

        Your problem is always the upfront assumption that anybody that comments against your intentions comes from the opposite party. With this kind of attitude you are basically digging your own graves.Sorry

  • Decimator

    Why has Mohammed Buhari not been arrested at midnight for an established lying under oath over his false WAEC Certificate that should be a constitutional basic prerequisite for the office of the presidency?Malami does this not border on criminality from the commander in chief himself
    who vowed to protect the country’s constitution? Do you not think it is worth the investigation of your meticulous DSS and you as the Attorney general of the federation?

    • IG

      Don’t distract the current case th DSS have at hand, maybe you should lay your complain to the police. We know your type

      • Decimator

        Excuse me.
        Are you now insinuating that such a high profile case bordering on
        criminality amounts to distraction for your office? Very interesting to note
        that, thanks.

        • Amir

          You are a psychiatric candidate.

          • Decimator

            Does it make a difference to a high profile case bordering on criminality?

  • Public Record

    “Look, it may interest you to know that one of the two Supreme Court judges in our custody has a property
    worth N1.5 billion in one of the South-South states. If we may ask, where did he get the money to set up
    such project? As far as we are concerned, there is nothing unusual in arresting corrupt judges and taking them
    to court because it would be an offence against the nation to continue to turn a blind eye to mounting corruption
    in the judiciary.

    “When we brought in most of the children, wives and relatives of the Judges based on the papers we
    got from the banks, they did not even have an idea that their names had been used by the judges to
    open such accounts. But you see under the Bank Verification Number, you must put in your passports,
    name, signature and others. So, for some of the judges, who used fake names and their wives names
    to open the accounts into which they paid in the proceeds of crime, they foolishly appended their
    signatures or used their pictures, something that gave them out.

    From what we found out, some of the suspects acted foolishly in committing the offence because they
    cannot prove that even if their children were to earn N1 million monthly since they were born till date,
    none of them can accumulate the amount of money we have traced to their accounts and the type
    of property they have.”

    …………….STATE SECURITY SERVICE [SSS]

    (October 11th, 2016)

    • IG

      MAY GOD BLESS YOU PEOPLE FOR THIS GREAT INITIATIVES BY YOUR DEPARTMENT. PLEASE CARRY GO NIGERIANS ARE BEHIND YOU

    • Evidence

      In so far as you do not request for secret trial and masking of witnesses this time when
      the trial begins. Since you have overwhelming evidence as stated above, I
      should presume in any case that it is definitely not necessary. And least I
      forget, please don’t drop the case somewhere along the line, all criminal cases
      should be pursued until conviction is obtained for the interest of the general public.
      Thanks

    • thusspokez

      …there is nothing unusual in arresting corrupt judges and taking them to court…

      There are two fundamentally different issues here. And yet many of you Nigerians can’t separating the two issue of (1) gross abuse of due process and undermining of the Nigerian constitution; and (2) the issue of corruption. Many of you seem to think that (1) is worth undermining (2). This is flawed thinking. It also encourages jungle justice and revenge; and undermines law and under.

    • vagabonds in power

      DSS YET AGAIN CAUGHT PANTS DOWN AS JUSTICE LIMAN SPEAKS. THIS LYING GOVERNMENT HAS NO INTEGRITY

      *Invaded house not mine.

      *DSS bungled missed target.

      *Made up mind to quit the profession.

      I believe most of the members heard or read about the reported raid in PortHarcourt and my name has been mentioned as the judge in whose house $2m dollars was stashed. Since yesterday this story has been on the headlines and captions on most social media platforms. The truth is that all that you’ve read is more of misinformation and disinformation; substantially untrue account.

      The truth is that we live as neighbors to the DSS,their address is 35 and mine is 33.That night the DSS came to house 34 where they wanted to search but they were refused entry and later Gov. Wike was said to have come and engaged the security outfit in a near physical struggle,as the report suggested.

      I wouldn’t have known of the incidence if my neighbor in house 34 had not called me to inform me of the presence of strange people at her gate .All this while the melee lasted to around 4:00a.m.,I was in my house monitoring the events, and remained indoors until later in the day when I felt it was no longer safe for me to continue to remain.

      However I feel distressed that the DSS indirectly claimed they have evidence I stashed $2m, and when contacted I employed thugs and with Governor Wike to obstruct them from carrying out the search and that I later transferred the money to an unknown place.I do not think I need to refute this allegation because it would only make sense if they had actually targeted my house for the search.The truth is that due to their incompetence they bungled the operation and are desperately searching for alibi to save their heads.Unfortunately I have found myself in the middle of a dirty politics between Wike and the Federal Government and perhaps my notoriety for delivering controversial judgements; because the cases are also controversial and the stakes probably very high.

      I’m not asking anybody to believe or disbelieve whether I stashed $2m, an amount that is equivalent to about N1b. Perhaps you might think the DSS probably exaggerated the amount, but all these would have been relevant considerations if they had actually searched my house.If I had $2m or even a quarter of it I would have abandoned this horrible profession that has lost its dignity.In fact I have already lost interest in it and have made up my mind to say bye bye to it.I believe there is a life beyond every other thing.

      ~ Hon Justice Liman.

  • thusspokez

    … nobody, regardless of how highly placed, is exempted as far as issues that border on crimes and criminalises are concerned.

    Amen, but dodgy Abu, don’t forget to include yourself.

  • willi

    I thank president Buhari and his men, but the next story am expecting is getting them into jail of at least twenty years of imprisonment with hard labour and no option of fine through competent court with immediate effect. Then turn to those men on uniform busy collecting money from drivers every day along our various highways.

    • NwaIgbo

      I say Amen to that and also handcuffing those corrupt Custom officers at our airports who extorts money from passengers instead of using the x-ray machines. Let the cleanings continue! Sai Buhari!

    • Burning Spear

      If U think Nigeria is now the same as Lord Lugard left it in 1914 then u must be related to Lucifer- ——the uncle–of Bingo Buhari———————–And-U must be crazy to think that Buhari commands any respect among 9jas—–now————He is presently the Emblem of our National disgrace——————————–that is what he represents shame——————–sadly he is Fulani——while u are Ibo————————

  • Vagabonds in power

    DSS YET AGAIN CAUGHT PANTS DOWN AS JUSTICE LIMAN SPEAKS. THIS LYING GOVERNMENT HAS NO INTEGRITY

    n.

    I believe most of the members heard or read about the reported raid in PortHarcourt and my name has been mentioned as the judge in whose house $2m dollars was stashed. Since yesterday this story has been on the headlines and captions on most social media platforms. The truth is that all that you’ve read is more of misinformation and disinformation; substantially untrue account.

    The truth is that we live as neighbors to the DSS,their address is 35 and mine is 33.That night the DSS came to house 34 where they wanted to search but they were refused entry and later Gov. Wike was said to have come and engaged the security outfit in a near physical struggle,as the report suggested.

    I wouldn’t have known of the incidence if my neighbor in house 34 had not called me to inform me of the presence of strange people at her gate .All this while the melee lasted to around 4:00a.m.,I was in my house monitoring the events, and remained indoors until later in the day when I felt it was no longer safe for me to continue to remain.

    However I feel distressed that the DSS indirectly claimed they have evidence I stashed $2m, and when contacted I employed thugs and with Governor Wike to obstruct them from carrying out the search and that I later transferred the money to an unknown place.I do not think I need to refute this allegation because it would only make sense if they had actually targeted my house for the search.The truth is that due to their incompetence they bungled the operation and are desperately searching for alibi to save their heads.Unfortunately I have found myself in the middle of a dirty politics between Wike and the Federal Government and perhaps my notoriety for delivering controversial judgements; because the cases are also controversial and the stakes probably very high.

    I’m not asking anybody to believe or disbelieve whether I stashed $2m, an amount that is equivalent to about N1b. Perhaps you might think the DSS probably exaggerated the amount, but all these would have been relevant considerations if they had actually searched my house.If I had $2m or even a quarter of it I would have abandoned this horrible profession that has lost its dignity.In fact I have already lost interest in it and have made up my mind to say bye bye to it.I believe there is a life beyond every other thing.

    ~ Hon Justice Liman.

  • CEO

    All hail Abubakar Malami!! Now, no one is above the law. No one is exempted from investigation on issues that border on crime and criminalities. Wether this was an attempt at self purification, or a political maneuver gone bad, time will tell. However, one thing we may all be sure of is that Abubakar Malami has stated for the record, that no one is above the law

  • Etomi

    Clap for yasef…

    Illiterate AGF!

    Quotasystem SAN!!

    This 1DOIT whose spin on the law has turned Buhari into a hideous fiend!!!

    Wuruwurutotheanswer AGF, who helps Buhari to subvert the law; to bend and mangle the law to fit Buhari’s pre-set goal….

    Banza, barawo!!!!

  • Scatter

    Mr AGF, so when would the SSS or the EFCC swoop on Speaker Dogara and his fellow Budget padders?

  • msadaoranimey

    Editor Premium Times,

    Why the BUHARI government looks like a joke

    The BUHARI regime has no reputation
    for following up a corruption case to logical conclusion. In short the Buhari
    regime has no reputation for competence. It claims to investigate corruption,
    uncovers evidence, files charges but every often, withdraws the filed charges
    and sets the accused criminals free. The impression is that President Buhari is
    under authority of shadowy evil men who remote-control him and tell him what to
    do. So long as that impression persists nobody out there will believe Buhari is
    fighting any corruption. Despite setting up a 7-member Presidential Advisory
    Committee on Anti-Corruption, nobody sees knowledge, wisdom or understanding in
    the way and manner the Buhari regime bungles and messes up all corruption cases
    so far uncovered with gross incompetence.

    • Decimator

      You can say it again

  • WOLE (Ogun state)

    @Leeman2:disqus

    THESE BRIBES FOUND UNDER THE BEDS OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICES, including the multi-million cash
    hidden in empty cartons of Peak Milk by the High Court Judges, were all delivered to these corrupt Judges by
    lawyers acting as courier for tainted litigants in court. The next step for SSS is to force the arrested Judges
    to confess the full names of those lawyers who delivered these tranches of bribes for immediate arrest.

  • vagabonds in power

    DSS YET AGAIN CAUGHT PANTS DOWN AS JUSTICE LIMAN SPEAKS. THIS LYING GOVERNMENT HAS NO INTEGRITY

    n.

    I believe most of the members heard or read about the reported raid in PortHarcourt and my name has been mentioned as the judge in whose house $2m dollars was stashed. Since yesterday this story has been on the headlines and captions on most social media platforms. The truth is that all that you’ve read is more of misinformation and disinformation; substantially untrue account.

    The truth is that we live as neighbors to the DSS,their address is 35 and mine is 33.That night the DSS came to house 34 where they wanted to search but they were refused entry and later Gov. Wike was said to have come and engaged the security outfit in a near physical struggle,as the report suggested.

    I wouldn’t have known of the incidence if my neighbor in house 34 had not called me to inform me of the presence of strange people at her gate .All this while the melee lasted to around 4:00a.m.,I was in my house monitoring the events, and remained indoors until later in the day when I felt it was no longer safe for me to continue to remain.

    However I feel distressed that the DSS indirectly claimed they have evidence I stashed $2m, and when contacted I employed thugs and with Governor Wike to obstruct them from carrying out the search and that I later transferred the money to an unknown place.I do not think I need to refute this allegation because it would only make sense if they had actually targeted my house for the search.The truth is that due to their incompetence they bungled the operation and are desperately searching for alibi to save their heads.Unfortunately I have found myself in the middle of a dirty politics between Wike and the Federal Government and perhaps my notoriety for delivering controversial judgements; because the cases are also controversial and the stakes probably very high.

    I’m not asking anybody to believe or disbelieve whether I stashed $2m, an amount that is equivalent to about N1b. Perhaps you might think the DSS probably exaggerated the amount, but all these would have been relevant considerations if they had actually searched my house.If I had $2m or even a quarter of it I would have abandoned this horrible profession that has lost its dignity.In fact I have already lost interest in it and have made up my mind to say bye bye to it.I believe there is a life beyond every other thing.

    ~ Hon Justice Liman.

  • George

    Teacher pls don’t teach me nonsense.

    Nigerians you people are welcome back to the Vagabond ERA.