Nigerians condemn NBA’s threat over judges’ arrest


Some Nigerians have condemned the threat by the leadership of Nigeria Bar Association to Nigerians over the arrest of some judges for alleged corruption and professional misconduct.

Those who made the call in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Makurdi on Sunday urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to succumb to pressure but to ensure that the judges faced the law.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the State Security Services, DSS, on Friday night arrested some judges for alleged corruption.

The agency stated that it recovered huge sums in local and foreign currencies from the judges.

Following their arrest, the leadership of NBA headed by Abubakar Mahmoud at a news conference, demanded the judges’ immediate release on the ground that due process was not followed in their arrest.

The association said, “It is not the responsibility of DSS to arrest judges.”

It described the action of the agency as unconstitutional and a way of intimidating the judiciary and undermining its independence.

“President Muhammadu Buhari should order immediate release of the affected judges or there would be consequences,” NBA said.

Some of those who responded to the threat accused NBA of encouraging corruption, adding that it was an indication that “corruption is fighting back” against the anti-corruption campaign of the government .

They said the action of NBA had vindicated the president, who had said that the judiciary was a major hindrance to the fight against corruption.

A resident of Makurdi, James Audu, wondered why NBA would ask the Federal Government to immediately release the judges.

“I am not sure I understand why the NBA is asking the Federal Government to order the immediate release of some judges that have been arrested over allegations of corruption.

“Were they arrested without warrants? Is it unlawful to investigate a judge on allegations of corruption? Or are our laws meant to be obeyed by some people while others breach them and go free?

“Do judges also enjoy immunity under our laws? Are judges not subject to our laws?

‘’Is there no rule of law here or are judges above the law?” he asked.

Another resident, Shidoon Agbe, said the judges should be prosecuted according to the law.

Ms. Agbe said that it was a shame that a respected legal body, such as NBA, would allow itself to be used by corrupt politicians to achieve their goals.

“The Nigerian Constitution does not make provision for judges’ immunity neither does it exclude them from investigations.

“In fact, even the Mr President can be investigated while still in office,” she said.

Ms. Agbe said that in other parts of the world judges were arrested and tried like other citizens.

“Few months ago, South African President was investigated and tried even with his immunity and nobody complained about it.

‘’Examples of cases of this nature are too many to mention.

“This is a legal issue, all we expected of NBA during their press conference was for them to clearly quote the various sections of the constitution that prohibit security agencies from investigating and arresting judges,” she said.



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  • george bolatiwa

    NBA as a body has since lost credibility and as an organisation they are living in the past, Nigerians has moved on from the roar of the corrupt and criminal tendencies of the minority elite. I know PMB has just begun to show them his mettle an resolve to deal with them. They will do themselves a favor I they desist from parochial and savage indictment of this govt or risk the Duterte approach. This is war that must be worn or political all consumed.

    • shadow

      What NBA is shamelessly doing is nothing but corruption fighting back. Shame on them!

  • ayi-baba

    Abubakar Mahmoud is nothing but a misfit, corrupt and criminal in suit leading a body that has long lost credibility and respect. NBA is a bunch of rogues in ties masquerading as learn people who are part of the denigration of the temple of Justice in Nigeria. In its press conference, no single section was quoted to have been breached by DSS action. All over the world, sting operations are known to be carried out by security agencies when necessary. FBI does it, even against corrupt judges. Where you expect to find wisdom, and foolishness hold supreme, it is quite frustrating. Do you call them NBA, they definitely should know better, but alas, how wrong!

    • naija man

      You are rite bro

  • Taiwo

    They went to Makurdi to look for ‘some Nigerians’ who support the crude behaviour recently unleashed on the nation.

    It is no different from the way Buhari quietly removed some ethnic nationalities from the military. His idea is to populate government agencies with his northern people. If anyone thinks I’m wrong, wait till he begins to replace those judges that he is planning to sack!

    We voted for him to move us forward not into the midi Evan period, His disgrace from power will be worse than Jonathan’s

    • Sensible

      He will not be disgraced. He will surely be celebrated after his first four years. Sensible Nigerians would then realize that he has been the best thing that happens to Nigeria since amalgamation of 1914.

    • Nasiru Sani

      Taiwo you are a liar you didn’t vote for Buhari so leave those who voted for him to continue wishing him well, but for you go and die those thieves must be punish .

  • NinjaK

    Educated Illiterates & Compound Fools of Makurdi!
    The DSS Act states very clearly that they are to be heard NOT TO BE SEEN – talkless of going to jump over fences at 1am.
    DSS does not even have powers of prosecution! The DSS is to indiscreetly investigate, gather evidence, call on the Police to make arrests, submit evidences gathered for prosecution of such individuals – period! There is a reason why there are processes for everything.
    Now some fools are even saying the FBI did something similar on three occassions –
    1. Is FBI actions or activities now the bible or Quran of DSS activities?
    2. The Act establishing the FBI gives them both investigative & Prosecutorial powers – that of DSS does not.
    3. This sort of actions, and then looking for FBI examples are the reason why we are simply 3rd world
    All those who are supporting this rubbish had better have their heads examined!

    • GOI

      You’re an idiot…….by the way, i m not from makurdi

      • NinjaK

        Who was referring to you? The article was about the fools of makurdi whch I then contributed to.
        Can you show me where exactly I either identified, responded, or mentioned YOU in my contribution?
        It is people like you just misread situations very easily and start wars anyhow.
        Walai you are just like another Lawal Daura with very soft intellect.

  • DD

    NBA is nothing but a gang of crooks. Who listens to them anyway?

  • Dejandon

    What is NBA afraid of? That the judges will tell us the names of SANs who have been bribing them all these while?

  • Ata2

    Corrupt judges have a stranglehold on the NBA. Shame on the NBA!

  • Jaspa Matanga

    Things should be done the right way. You can not fight corruption by destroying the Rule of Law because that would result in anarchy. But how would uneducated Fulani herdsmen know that? This is the harm Ahmed Bola Tinubu has done to Nigeria because of his selfish greed. DSS did what they are not empowered to do. That is the point we are making. Self help must not be allowed in law and order issues no matter how justifiable the action is. Government agencies must not operate outside the powers granted the by their enabling law. LISTEN:
    “For the avoidance of doubt, the Constitution in Section 153(1)(i) and Part 1 of the Third Schedule thereto establishes the National Judicial Council (NJC) and empowers same to regulate and discipline judges across the Country. The proper path to follow to discipline erring judges will be to forward a petition containing any wrong doing to the NJC along with any evidence in support thereof. “The path not to follow is this Gestapo style invasion in the middle of the night that involves the use of sledgehammers to breakdown gates and front doors for DSS to gain access to the homes.”

    • wazobia ninja!!!!!!

      keep quiet ………have you ever complained each time NJC “retires” bribe-guzzling judges rather than prosecute them?
      “the right path to follow”……… did the judges follow the “right path” in the first instance as they should have?

    • Nasiru Sani

      Jaspa Fulani herdsman is your ruler whether you like it or not and it shows clearly you’re nothing but product of corruption may be your dad is among the type of judged Buhari is to arrest.

    • Hank

      President Buhari, more sledgehammers please to breakdown gates of corruption. Next will be the senators.

    • Omo Akin

      A Justice of the Court of Appeal demanded and received 200 Million Naira from a litigant. The NJC found that to be true. The NJC issued a statement that the Judge asked for the bribe but purposely kept silent on the fact that he did receive the bribe and recommended that he be retired and refund the money install-mentally. Does NJC not know that receiving bribe is a crime? When you retire a judge, he gets his salary for life; how is that a deterrence for others? It is the failure of the NJC that led to the action of the DSS. The NJC is simply incapable of disciplining the judges so the DSS has the opportunity when issues of receiving bribe became involved.
      It is for the poor work of the NJC that prompted people like me to suggest that the Chief Justice of Nigeria should be appointed from outside of the Supreme Court hoping that such a person can get the NJC to be an effective forum to deal with the decadence in the judiciary.

      • george

        God bless you. At least some ignorant fellows will read this and get the facts right.

      • Sikan Usanga

        first of all to prove bribery, you have to show that the gift recieved by the individual directly affected his judgment. in the case of someone like Justice Okoro, he delivered the lead judgment that made APC loose Rivers State (which is most likely the primary reason he is being held) and what did they seize from his premises? a mercedes gifted to him by the Akwa Ibom state Government in recognition of one of her illustrious sons and about 4 million naira (money which he can afford 10 times over with just his salary and allowances). one day you will become someone valuable in that country and since the president feels it should happen that way, they will drag you out of your house and tarnish an image you have built for years (which shouldn’t be allowed to happen). There should be an allegation which leads to an investigation which leads to an arrest not the other way round. if everything can be achieved through brute force, then Nigeria would be an excellent country considering all the military regimes we have passed through.

  • FirecloudOFGOD

    The battle line is drawn: those who want the present rot to continue and those who really desire the removal of the stumbling blocks to a decent and fair society. Our judiciary has gone to the dogs. I know what side I belong in this battle. Buhari’s government is just now able to muster courage to stand up against the enemies of the people. It cannot succumb to these noisemakers now! I just appeal to fairness in the battle so that there are no sacred cows. No going back.

  • Watch man

    There is no nation on earth that wishes to fight corruption to a stand still that does not apply some level of executive madness at some point. Rule of law guarantees rule of escape even where you do not expect. So, proponents of rule of law, as good as it may sound, should be willing to allow the rule of man in those areas where the rule of law is weak and without emotion.

  • Rote

    Does DSS need prosecutorial powers before they can arrest enemies of the state as these lawyers want to make us belief. Of what use is collaboration among the security outfits if one security agency cannot arrest and another do the prosecution. However, the antecedent of the current NBA leadership clearly shows that they are against any anti-corruption drive. They started with an advocacy to strip EFCC of prosecutorial powers.
    If these lawyers care for the legal profession, the sanctity of the judiciary and survival of our nascent democracy their concern will be that the arrested judges should be immediately charged to court and not a call to release them or threatening the Federal Government if they are not released. The current hardship in the land is a direct product of corruption and the people knows their real enemies (including some of the last four generation of NBA leadership).

  • Lanre

    Premium Times. Are these the same Nigerians that voted for Obasanjo, Yar’adua, Buhari and Jonathan? Let the government start by requiring all public officers to declare publicly their assets and location/domicile. Starting with Muhammudu Buhari. But No. Nigerians are too docile and subservient. No wonder there is widespread poverty and recession. Slaves ruled by task masters!

    • george

      So you never read Buhari and Osinbajo’s assets declaration?

      • Man_Enough

        he is a new man in jerusalem.

  • Spoken word

    The NBA are bastard,corrupt,thieves.

  • Rommel

    The NBA should wait for their turn while we wait for the Judges arrested to sing,I am sure they would have lots of things to say about the network of pay as you go judiciary they have been running without recourse to the implications of perversion of justice,why an average person cannot get justice in Nigeria and everything depends of who one knows.An iventory of Nigerian prison inmates reveals that nobody whose family can feed three times a dy has anyone serving for crimes,only people with no name are there and we call that justice? I say the NBA should wait for their turn

  • Sir Demo

    NBA? That den of occultists? How is NBA different NUJ or NUT or ASUU? Just a club.

  • Aminu Baba

    The NBA is controlled by senior lawyers who in turn are cahoots with the corrupt judges as recent incidences have show. Where the NBA loudmouths when the NJC dismissed some high court judges and ordered their prosecution recently. Where were they when a forme JCA attested to the corruption of some of his colleagues? They should please let our massively elected president carry out his mandate. These overzealous lawyers and pretenders to democracy and human rights should know that we voted in Buhari because we are certain he is the only only that can sincerely fight corruption in ALL its ramifications in Nigeria

    • Audu Al-amin

      Good one!!!

  • rayray

    I think what is in play here is ego nothing more. not that the DSS don’t have the right to arrest and prosecute judges, but the judiciary have constituted themselves as gods over time. The standard punishment for anybody is a path in the back which is what they are used to, this arrest came as a surprise, bruising their ego and making them feel small which they can’t relate with. DSS must sustain this move to sanitize our judiciary and once again make it the last hope of the common man

    • Audu Al-amin

      Nice one!!!

  • Audu Al-amin

    NBA, has been part of corruption since day one. How can they tell mr president to order the immediate release of the corrupt judges? Is the law meant for the common man? Corruption is under attack not judiciary Mr NBA. God is answering we the masses prayers and he has given us Buhari very soon some lawyers will be exposed.

  • linkhadj.

    Corrupt Judges have their cohorts among lawyers, especially SANs. Where was NBA when Fayose slapped aJudge in Elite? Did eight SANs not line up behind their colleague who was being prosecuted for bribing a Judge? NBA has since lost its relevance. Most of the senior members are beneficiaries of corruption.

  • ijelejames

    NBA is just dysfunctional. It is unconstitutional to arrest corrupt judges they say but is it constitutional to take bribe and tilt judgement? A bunch of confused thieves. Everyday is for the thief but one day is for the owner of the house. What consequences were they talking about? We will see if they have more heads than the rest of us. Shameless group. God don catch una!