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13 Oct 2016

Top Nigerian Lawyer, Chief Afe Babalola Bares His Mind on the Arrest of Judges

Highly influential senior lawyer, Chief Afe Babalola has berated the clampdown on judges by the men of the secret service.

Legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) has said it was wrong for the Department of State Services (DSS) to take over police duties, while decrying the method the security agency used in arresting judges over alleged corruption.

Speaking during the foundation-laying ceremony of the new Ekiti State High Court at the Judiciary Headquarters, Fajuyi, Ado Ekiti, the state capital, Babalola said:

“I am very sad about the attack on judges when they are not common criminals, they have not run outside the country. The following day, you released them on bail, why did you harass their families?

“It is a trite law that process of the court can’t be served after 7pm. Even if the DSS had the arrest warrant, they should not have gone on midnight raid of the houses of the judges.

“The NJC has the power to promote, appoint and discipline judges, this was done to ensure independence of that arm. So, I expect them to have approached the NJC.

How can you arrest a sitting Supreme Court judges and took him to magistrate court for trial? That could only be done after they have been removed. If these people have facts that they are corrupt, they should approach the Judicial Council. How can you arrest a sitting judge and hand him over to a magistrate to try him?

Anywhere in the world, you don’t try a sitting judge; you first remove him from office before taking him to court. If you catch a masquerade, you first take the regalia off him.”

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