In separate probe, EFCC begins investigation of eight judges, two court registrars

EFCC Operatives
EFCC Operatives

At least eight Nigerian judges and two court registrars are being investigated following allegations of corruptions levelled against them, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said.

The announcement came six days after the State Security Services raided the homes of seven other judges and arrested them over graft charges. Justice Mohammed Liman could not be arrested in Port Harcourt after Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike and the police blocked SSS operatives from doing so.

The arrested judges were released on bail on Sunday. The SSS however said eight others might soon be rounded up to answer questions regarding alleged corruption.

In its statement Thursday, the EFCC said investigations were proceeding well in the fresh and unrelated probe and that the judges found culpable would soon be arrested and charged to court.

The names of the judges being investigated were however not disclosed.

“Some of the suspects who have been invited have made useful statements that have been of great assistance to the investigations,” EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.

“In due course, those who have cases to answer would be arrested and charged to court.”

The commission said “of the seven judges who are subject of the SSS raids, only one of them previously featured in a petition on alleged corruption to the EFCC.”

Investigation into the petitions against the judges, it said, had reached advanced stage when one of the judges got a Federal High Court order to stop further probe by the Commission.

“EFCC is still trying to vacate that order for the investigation to proceed unfettered,” Mr. Uwujaren said.

The anti-graft agency was responding to a newspaper report suggesting that the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had lost confidence in the EFCC, and now preferred to direct corruption allegations to the SSS for investigation.

But in its statement, the EFCC argued that the report was incorrect, saying, “there is no friction with the office of the AGF and the Commission is not involved in inter-agency squabbles with the SSS.”

“Indeed, the Commission, along with the SSS, ICPC, Police and the office of the AGF, is a member of a technical committee that meets at the highest level of government to collaborate and coordinate strategies against corruption,” Mr. Uwujaren said. “The last such meeting was as recently as today.”

He added, “However, Nigerians deserve to know that the nature of professional investigation of financial crimes is highly discrete and not given to theatre.

“The subject usually does not know the Commission is amassing evidences against him or her for several months before the strike. Therefore, the notion that a petition is submitted today and the next things that follow are instant arrests, prosecution and convictions is highly misleading.”

Below is the full statement by the EFCC.

EFCC PRESS RELEASE
Re: Why AGF Shuns EFCC, Sends Judges’ Cases to DSS

The attention of the EFCC has been drawn to a story in the Thursday, 13 October edition of The Punch, headlined, ‘Why AGF shuns EFCC, Sends Judges’ Cases to DSS’. The story, quoting some unnamed sources, tried to drive wedges between the Commission and the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) on the one hand and the Commission and the Department of State Services (DSS) on the other. It alleges among others, that the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, frustrated by the alleged tardiness of the EFCC in handling petitions forwarded to it, now sends the same cases to the DSS.

EFCC wishes to put on record, that there is no friction with the office of the AGF and the Commission is not involved in inter-agency squabbles with the DSS. Indeed, the Commission, along with the DSS, ICPC, Police and the office of the AGF, is a member of a technical committee that meets at the highest level of government to collaborate and coordinate strategies against corruption. The last such meeting was as recently as today.

Further, it must be stated that of the seven judges who are subject of the DSS raids, only one of them previously featured in a petition on alleged corruption to the EFCC. Investigation into the petition had reached an advanced stage, when one of the judges got a Federal High Court order to stop further investigation by the Commission. EFCC is still trying to vacate that order for the investigation to proceed unfettered.

However, Nigerians deserve to know that the nature of professional investigation of financial crimes is highly discrete and not given to theatre. The subject usually does not know the Commission is amassing evidences against him or her for several months before the strike. Therefore, the notion that a petition is submitted today and the next things that follow are instant arrests, prosecution and convictions is highly misleading.

In this regard, EFCC is currently investigating eight (8) judges and two (2) court registrars. Some of the suspects who have been invited have made useful statements that have been of great assistance to the investigations. In due course, those who have cases to answer would be arrested and charged to court.

Wilson Uwujaren
Head, Media & Publicity
13/10/2016


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  • James Ojapa

    We are still hanging on the rope waiting for NYC decision on the judges. I hope we will not wait until Jesus second coming

    • okpada

      They don’t have any decision to make other than to concur because evidences against their members are overwhelming. Soft landing is the best option for them

      • Solicitor & Advocate

        ‘How Justice Adeniyi Ademola ran away in Abuja’

        My privilege
        as Nigerian-licensed Solicitor abroad was breached by Justice
        Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, who is reported by his
        stewards to have run upstairs immediately the SSS team arrived his gate.
        According to his stewards, Justice Admola instructed and said whilst fleeing
        upstairs that the stewards should tell lies to the SSS men that he – Justice
        Ademola – has traveled out of Abuja to Benin city in Edo state. His stewards
        did as instructed.

        But the SSS insisted that the stewards should call Justice Ademola in their
        presence to be sure. They did and Justice Ademola repeated the lies on phone
        that he was answering the phone call from Benin city in Edo state, whereas he was
        upstairs locked, in his bedroom. With GPS tracking the SSS located where Justice
        Ademola was – right inside the house – and SSS proceeded to break the door to
        his bedroom where he was hiding and SSS bundled him straight into prison.

        • Decimator

          If masked and armed kidnappers breaks into your house in the midnight, would you not run?

          One unequivocal fact is that Justice Adeniyi Ademola was the presiding Judge
          over the Buhari false WAEC certificate. Every other thing for now is mere allegation
          which could be True, False or Fabricated. Just don’t drop the case along the
          line. OK

          • Rommel

            Do you know how many years it took Donald Trump to admit that Barack Obama was born in America? even at that,we still have some people who still don’t believe it and so will it be with Buhari’s O’level so I am not surprised

          • Decimator

            “Believe“is a religious matter done in the churches, mosques, synagogues, traditional religion etc.
            .In legality you prove your case by presenting the WAEC certificate, as Obama
            you mentioned presented his birth certificate. Period.

          • kinsly

            The case was already dismissed. Don’t muddle up facts please.

          • Decimator

            No the case was truncated, by the commander in chief himself who
            poses as the only man of honor and the Noble judge of the nation.
            Another shameful crime, in fact a national embarrassment.

    • Tamuno

      Continue waiting.

    • raji

      The evidence DSS submitted to them make them get confused.

  • henry

    @Okpada They’ve crashed land already no more soft landing

  • Bingo Buhari d Dod

    President Muhammadu Buhari’s only son with Aisha Buhari whom he married at 9, Yusuf Buhari, allegedly owns two plush hotels in Abuja and is having another constructed for him in Dubai.

    These revelations were made to Journalists by a business associate of the younger Buhari . The wealthy businessman, an American in the oil and gas industry, claimed that the president’s son was seeking to invest in the American’s other business in Nigeria – high speed broadband.

    To impress the American and demonstrate that he was a major player in terms of funding, Yusuf Buhari took him to his five-star hotels in Abuja and claimed that he had another one in the pipeline in Dubai.

    The American said he was surprised about Buhari’s possessions and told the young man, who is in his mid-twenties and graduated in July from Surrey University: “You are not even 30 yet.

    How can a young man like you own places like this?” Buhari is said to have replied: “Everybody had their own opportunity. It is now our turn.

    What do you expect? We may not be here tomorrow”. The American then laughed as he recalled the incident saying: “Your president is meant to be fighting corruption”, he laughed again adding, “see how he is fighting corruption”.

    The businessman also said that the drop in oil price has affected his main interest in the country – lifting crude oil. However, he felt things were looking up in the broadband business.

    • Al

      Efcc will like this information, why are you wasting time here?

    • kinsly

      Mumu bingo like you. Complete bingo brain comment.

  • Ben

    Whilst judges are not granted immunity from criminal process, the vital and sacrosanct role of the judiciary in governance entitles them to great respect over and above that accorded to the ordinary citizens. To disgrace a judge, as by a degrading treatment, is not just the disgraceful treatment of an individual; it brings the entire judiciary, as the third organ of government, the Third Estate of the Realm, into disrepute and undermines its credibility in the eyes of the public. It diminishes our country, and all of us. The matter therefore counsels and demands cautious handling.

    We are in a constitutional democracy, not a military dictatorship, and the law must be respected and obeyed in the way the affairs of the country are handled, including the handling of the fight against corruption which we all wholeheartedly support.

    Professor Ben Nwabueze

    10 October, 2016

    • Uzoma John

      Have you ever thought of the impact of all these judges taking humongous bribes on ordinary Nigerians. State Governors and politicians fighting for positions will mortgage the resources of their States in order to procure favourable judgement. The after effects are no meaningful development, kidnapping, militancy, armed robbery, non-payment of salaries to workers with a chain effect of turning young boys and girls into all sorts of vices since their parents can longer provide for them. You are here defending criminals who should be tied to stakes and shot dead. If the corrupt judges ever thought there should be respect for the high position they occupy (your Third Estate of the Realm), why get involved in brazen corruption, selling justice to the highest bidder. You must be ashamed of yourself. Constitutional democracy does not also permit you, Nwabueze and the corrupt judges to take bribe and pervert the cause of justice which further distabilises the polity.

    • Burbank

      Buhari should have ordered the judges killed, the way Obama authorised the drones to rain bombs on terrorist suspects.

      • Charles

        you are an enemy of PMB.

        • Burbank

          That’s corruption.

    • Samadani

      Where is the integrity and the respect? Nigerian judiciary has since lost anything as far as common man is concerned. So we must support any effort to restore the lost confidence in the judiciary. Carry go DSS! Carry go EFCC!!

      • Decimator

        And the Nigerian president Mohammed Buhari who acclaims himself the only man of honor in
        the country and now has anointed himself the Noble judge of the federation, has
        not only lost all respect as accorded to the oval office, he has now become a national embarrassment. The problem
        here is he is not restorable. Sorry

        • Charles

          The President must have made some mistake, just like any mortal, but definitely he is not a national embracement. Thanks and God Bless.

  • Ojukwu

    DSS’s conduct is a reckless affront just to intimidate the Judiciary on behalf of Government.

    Look at the Dss statement on Justice Liman, that Gov Wike prevented them from searching his house and helped him move $2m to an unknown place. Very reckless statement that shocks the mind about the aim of the purge. First Dss did not go to Justice Liman’s house. They rather surrounded another judge’s close to Liman’s house and that’s where the altercation with the Governor took place. Liman was at home until 2pm Saturday afternoon and was reading Dss lies from there. Up till now Dss has not gone to Liman’s house. The most bizarre of this is that Dss office in Port Hacourt is on the same street as Liman’s House and the other Judge. DSS’s office is No 33 while Justice Liman is No 35 and the other Judge is No. 34. When did they count the $2m?

    At Justice Dr Dimgba’s house at Abuja he opened the door without any delay. They showed him two search warrants in succession and all did not have his name. Yet they still insisted on searching the house and also injured his brother.

    No no no we cannot deal with corruption in the judiciary by simply setting out to intimidate the entire system. The cost of the intimidation is 100,000,000 times higher than allowing 20 corrupt judges escape justice.

    This is no Hitler era. If we keep encouraging this rubbish, they nation will bleed from this sooner than late

    • Uzoma John

      Are you one of the very corrupt thieving judges?

    • Al

      Am sure you are one them

    • blow fissh

      While Liman was reading the lies what were you doing, rocking his dick in your mouth?

      • Charles

        nasty and uncivil comment

  • Iskacountryman

    dss storms their houses..efcc investigates…yeye buhari and his lawless band…

    • Mighty Colonel Mariam

      who are you calling yeye? that odes it… you should be arrested and locked up.

      • Iskacountryman

        the dss does not obey nyamiris…

  • Burbank

    Hopefully, Mary Odili is among them.

  • Kitunde

    Why warn them-Just go ahead and pick them up preferably when they are fast asleep in bed.

    • Charles

      you are an enemy of this Government.

  • Charles

    Yes, some judges are corrupt, no doubt, but if we claim we really love the Government, we must not hesitate to tell it the truth when necessary, supporting the Government when it goes wrong is very harmful and destructive to the Government. if you think everything Government does is correct, then you are equating them to God and the truth is not in you.

    • Uzoma John

      You better accept it or not, all actions taken by this Govt against corruption is within the law and legal and have the full support of the majority of Nigerians. As it is at the moment on corruption, we must take the Govt as God for they are doing a very good job. Except you have a hidden agenda you are yet to unearth.

      • Charles

        Thanks for the reply