Nigeria has taken the war against corruption to the door steps of judges, recovering various sums of monies, including foreign currencies.
Department of State Services (DSS) confirmed on Saturday that it carried out a special sting operation on some judges of Supreme, Appeal and High courts,
The monies recovered included N93,558,000, $530,087, £25,970 and €5,680, Mr Abdullahi Garba of DSS, said in a statement.
DSS, he said, in the past few days, embarked on the raid based on allegations of corruption and other acts of professional misconduct by a few of the suspected judges.
The action of DSS, he said, was in line with its core mandate, “as we have been monitoring the expensive and luxurious lifestyle of some of the Judges as well as complaints from the concerned public over judgment obtained fraudulently and on the basis amounts of money paid’’.
The judges involved were invited, upon which due diligence was exhibited and their premises searched.
Raw cash of various denominations, local and foreign currencies, with real estate worth several millions of Naira and documents affirming unholy acts by these Judges were recovered.
He said that some of the judges have made useful statements while a few have declined even with the glaring evidences that were found against them in terms of material cash, documents and property recovered pointing to their compromise.
Wike’s Alleged Involvement
He alleged that in one of the states where the Service operations were conducted, credible intelligence revealed that the Judge had $2,000,000 stashed in his house. The DSS did not mention the state, but earlier reports in the social media mentioned Rivers.
“When he was approached for due search to be conducted, he in concert with the State Governor, mobilized thugs against the Service team.
“The team restrained itself in the face of unbridled provocative activities by those brought in by the Governor.
“Unfortunately, the Judge and Governor also engaged the tacit support of a sister security agency.’’
DSS surveillance team, he explained, noticed the resistance of the Judge with the active support of the Governor and craftily moved the money to an unknown location which the Service is currently making effort to unravel.
Garba denied that the Service invited Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen for investigation.
According to him, Justice Onnoghen is not being investigated by the Service.
The Service, he said, has tremendous respect for the Judiciary and would not do anything to undermine it or its activities.
In a related development, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state on Saturday alleged that he was manhandled by security operatives who tried to arrest a judge but confirmed they were able to ward off the operatives.
Wike described the action of the DSS as undemocratic.