Isiaka Olagunju, general secretary of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), says it is erroneous to level allegations of corruption against the Nigeria Judicial Council (NJC).
Speaking on Monday on a Raypower radio programme, The Platform, while fielding questions on the recent raid of some judges’ homes by the Department of State Services (DSS), noted It’s only in Nigeria we arrest before we investigate.
He said Nigerians should not forget that a week ago, the NJC not only dismissed three judges on allegations of corruption but recommended them for prosecution.
He stated that raid on the homes of the judges was not done according to due process.“Any allegation against the NJC, with due respect, is quite erroneous. Apparently, they are not aware of the position of the NJC; we always rely on what we read on the newspapers and social media,” Olagunju said.
“Based on the facts available to us, the NBA, NJC is doing what they are supposed to do and they are doing well. There may be room for improvement; we are not saying they are perfect.
“Of course there is no prefect condition in life, but if you need room for improvement, there must be engagement. It’s not by confrontation; it’s by engagement to achieve what you want to achieve.
“It’s only in Nigeria we arrest before we investigate; we are not saying the judges are corrupt or not corrupt but due process was not followed. If a constable is found not doing the right thing he is firstly dismissed before he is prosecuted. The fight against corruption is a process.
“Please we should not forget that just about a week ago, the NJC dismissed three justices — one justice of the court of appeal and two judges of the high court — and even recommended the prosecution of one of them.
“We need to appreciate the efforts made by the NJC. If you want to make comments, you should make comments with the facts available to us, we should not rely on speculation.”
He explained that a committee of the NBA would look into the matter and advise the law body of a decision to take.
“We are not gathering information; they will look into the matter and advise us so we would know the decision to take or what to do, and hopefully the NJC is meeting today in Abuja and before the end of today we will also come out with something. But definitely, it’s not together information but to look into the matter,” he added.
“What are the real issues? Because we rely on what we believe on social media, on newspapers, but we established a committee to look into the matter and see or give us the actual facts.”