Why we raided judges residences – DSS

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has said it is after corrupt judges of the Supreme, Appeal and High courts in the sweeping operations it carried on Friday night.

According to a senior of the nation’s secret police, Abdullahi Garba, who spoke with jiurnalists on Saturday, the move is a fallout of a string operation it carried out the judges involved, insisting that the operation will be sustained.

According to him, the operations were based on allegations of corruption and other acts of professional misconduct by the suspected judges.

Garba said: “The action is in line with its core mandate, as we have been monitoring the expensive and luxurious lifestyle of some of the judges as well as complaints from the concerned public over judgment obtained fraudulently and on the basis of amounts of money paid.

“The judges involved were invited, upon which due diligence was exhibited and their premises searched. The searches have uncovered huge raw cash of various denominations, local and foreign currencies, with real estate worth several millions of naira and documents affirming unholy acts by these judges.”

The DSS officer also disclosed that while some of the judges had made useful statements on the allegations against them, he added that a few of them declined “even with the glaring evidence that were found against them in terms of material cash, documents and property recovered pointing to their compromise.”

He also disclosed that in one of the states where the operations were conducted, intelligence report indicated that a judge was having the sum of $2m in his house.

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He, however, regretted that a governor bungled the operation by obstructing the operatives of the service from carrying out their job.

Garba said, “In one of the states where the operations were conducted, credible intelligence revealed that the Judge had Two Million United States Dollars ($2,000,000 USD) stashed in his house.

“When he was approached for due search to be conducted, he in concert with the state governor, mobilised thugs against the Service team.

“The team restrained itself in the face of unbridled provocative activities by those brought in by the governor. Unfortunately, the judge and the governor also engaged the tacit support of a sister security agency.

“The Service surveillance team noticed that upon frustrating the operation, the judge with the active support of the governor craftily moved the money to an unknown location which the Service is currently making effort to unravel.”

According to Garba, large amount, including foreign/local currencies had been recovered.

They included N93,558,000.00, $530,087, £25,970 and €5,680 (euro), while an unspecified amount in other foreign currencies were also recovered. The above recovered from just three judges.

He however refused to give the names of the judges or how many they are.

By Timothy Enietan-Matthews

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