Anti Graft War: Buhari Will Not Spare Any Corrupt Judge –Malami, AGF
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN) on Tuesday stated that President Muhammadu Buhari led administration will not spare any corrupt judge indicted in the ongoing fight against corruption in the country.
Malami said this while speaking at the media launch of a report titled, “Go Home and Sin No More; Corrupt Judges Escaping from Justice in Nigeria” organised by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in Lagos.
The AGF, who spoke through his Special Adviser on White Collar Crimes, Mr Abiodun Aikhomu, said the President Muhammadu Buhari Government would not spare any judge indicted for corruption as was the practice in the past.
He said though such judges were removed on the recommendations of the National Judicial Council (NJC) none of them was charge to court for the offence.
According to him, “As we may be aware, this administration promised Nigerians that it will promptly address the challenges facing our nation in the areas of corruption, economy and security. Let no one be in doubt, the legitimate expectations of Nigerians in this regard shall be met. In this regard, I am reiterating that the fight against corruption shall be total and will not exclude judicial officers who are found wanting. “
He continued, “After all, it is beyond doubt that a corrupt judge cannot meaningfully contribute to the fight against corruption.”
He said in line with the agenda of the administration, the office of the AGF would ensure that every appearance of corruption in the judiciary is dealt with among other measures through criminal prosecution and forfeiture to the State.
According to him, acts of judicial impunity will also not be condoned, so that our judges can be judicially accountable at all times in a corruption-free judiciary which is both independent and impartial.
He however noted that the prosecution would be achieved without violations the fundamental human rights of the persons involved and in line with the rule of law and international best practices.
Also speaking, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade, said there was need to further the cause of justice through a more transparent judicial system in the country.
Represented by the Deputy Chief Registrar, Legal of the Lagos State Judiciary, Mrs Busola Okunuga, Atilade, said corruption was an endemic malaise which has eaten deep into the fabric of the Nigerian society.
On his part, the Executive Director of SERAP, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, said that lack of judicial accountability for corruption had impeded efforts to fight corruption at the highest level of government.
Mumuni, called on the Chief Justice of the Federation and the NJC to urgently refer all cases of judicial corruption to appropriate anti corruption agencies.
He urged the EFCC to proactively and robustly use their statutory powers to investigate and prosecute judicial corruption and also request from the NJC, files on cases of corrupt judges for prosecution.
The SERAP boss also called on the AGF to direct the Director of Public Prosecution to examine critically the cases of corrupt judges that have so far been sanctioned by the NJC.