Why Arrested Judges Are yet To Face Prosecution

By Ikenga Chronicles October 22, 2016

The President Muhamamdu Buhari-led federal government has revealed that the National Prosecution Coordination Committee is meeting over the draft charges already drawn against three among the seven judges arrested by the Department of State Services between October 8 and 9 this year.

Sources revealed that the plan was to ensure that none of them escapes the long arms of the law.

Recall that the draft charges were originally meant to be filed last Thursday, but a highly placed source confirmed on Friday, October 21 that the filing was delayed because of the absence of the Attorney-General of
the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who was on an official trip to Turkey.

The source said, “The NPCC has actually finished the drafting of the charges.”

“They would have been filed on Thursday if not for the absence of the Attorney-General of the Federation. The AGF said he wanted to see the charges before they were filed.”

It was gathered that the Federal Government had drafted charges against
three of the seven arrested judges.

One of those involved in the drafting revealed that three of the arrested judges would likely be charged with money laundering next Thursday.

The source said the three judges already marked for prosecution would be charged separately.

He added, “Apart from money laundering, the three judges would also face other charges depending on the peculiarities of the individuals’ cases and outcome of investigation.”

When asked before which court the judges would be charged, the source said, “Going by the nature of the charges we want to file, the only court with the requisite jurisdiction is the Federal High Court.”

The source explained that the government had through investigation obtained more evidence that was not envisaged at the outset.

The source said, “The truth of the matter is that the arrests carried out have led to more evidence and the Federal Government, through the NPCC, is drafting the charges to be filed against the judges.”

“But I can assure you that we have got prima facie cases against the judges.”

“Investigations, which are still ongoing, have revealed a lot of evidence that was not envisaged at the outset.”

“The available evidence will determine the charges to be filed and in which court to file them.”

The source said despite the condemnation of the arrest of the judges by the National Judicial Council, the government would proceed with the prosecution of the judges.

The DSS had between October 8 and 9 raided the houses of  seven judges and arrested them. They have since been released on bail.

The arrested judges were Justice Sylvester Ngwuta and John Okoro, both of the Supreme Court; Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, and Justice Muazu Pindiga of the Gombe State High Court.

Others who were arrested had been placed on suspension by the National Judicial Council pending the time President Buhari and their various state governors would approve its recommendation for their sacking.

They are a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike, the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Tsamiya; and the judge of the Kano State High Court, Justice Kabiru Auta.

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