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Thursday, 13 October 2016

EFCC Begins Investigation of 8 Judges and 2 Court Registrars in Separate Probe...See New Details

Some Judges and Court Registrars are being investigated as the fight against corruption continues unabated in Nigeria.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has revealed that at least eight Nigerian judges and two court registrars are being investigated following allegations of corruptions levelled against them.

This announcement is coming 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.

Premium Times reports that in its statement on 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.”

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