Why The DSS, Not EFCC Carried Out The Raid On Judges’ Houses

By Ikenga Chronicles October 13, 2016

The presidency has revealed on Wednesday evening that it forwarded petitions against judges bordering on alleged corrupt acts to the Department of State Services(DSS)  when the Federal Ministry of Justice, discovered that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission failed to act on previous petitions as expected. Before now Investigations showed that the relationship between the EFCC and the Ministry of Justice had been frosty.

The DSS had, in what it called a sting operation, arrested Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro, both of the Supreme Court;  the suspended Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Tsamiya; Justice Kabiru Auta of the Kano State High Court and Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Others arrested were a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike, and Muazu Pindiga of the Federal High Court, Gombe Division.

“From all indications, because of the EFCC’s seeming inaction on some of these cases, the Ministry of Justice has now resorted to forwarding the petitions to the DSS.  Obviously the EFCC is not happy with this,” the source stated.

The relationship between the ministry and the anti-graft agency has actually not been cordial since  Buhari sent the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2016, to the National Assembly through the AGF earlier this year.

The EFCC definitely sees nothing good about the law, though it acknowledges that the extant Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (amended in 2012) needs to be amended again.

On the new law, the EFCC catalogued what it considered the many flaws of the new bill in a position paper, which it submitted to the National Assembly. It pointed out in the paper, which was obtained by one of our correspondents, that among others, “it is not advisable to pass the bill into law.”

It was gathered on Wednesday that the EFCC was bitter because it was already investigating some of the judges, who were arrested by the DSS on Friday and Saturday. It was also learnt the rivalry between the two agencies came to a head when the EFCC allegedly opposed the takeover of the investigations of some petitions against some judges, which it had already worked on.

A top government source, revealed that  the EFCC was also not favourably disposed to investigating some judges, who had assisted in the speedy trial of graft cases instituted by the commission.

The source stated, “The point of disagreement came from the investigation into the petitions. While the EFCC thought that the DSS should steer clear of the petitions because it had already worked on them, the service and the Federal Ministry of Justice insisted that the commission was slow in its investigations.

A source in the EFCC explained that if not for the rivalry, the DSS should have involved the commission in the investigation into the graft allegations against the judges. He stated that the anti-graft commission was of the view that the DSS disrupted on-going investigations being carried out by it into the alleged corrupt practices by some judges. According to him, the EFCC has been carrying out discreet investigations into the activities of three judges, which were said to have been jeopardised by the raids conducted by the DSS.

“It is a DSS operation. The EFCC is not involved. The raids carried out on the judges’ residents have affected our ongoing investigation into the activities of some of the judges.” the source concluded.

 

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