Judges Arrest Aimed At Fighting Corruption Not Judiciary – FG
In respect to outrage, reactions witnessed across the nation due to the recent arrests of judges and raids on their homes by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS.
The Federal Government has appealed to Nigerians to take the path of honor by not allowing their emotions and sentiments becloud their sense of patriotism in respect of the recent surgical operations aimed at ridding the Judiciary of corruption.
The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed made the appeal while briefing Newsmen after the Federal Executive Council Meeting presided over by President Mohammadu Buhari.
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He said there is no intention what so ever by the Government to intimidate either Judges or Judiciary but sanitize the system of corruption and in the process, it is not unusual to step on sensitive toes.
The minister stressed that the arrests of the judges were carried out within the prescribed rule of the law since they do not have immunity against investigation and prosecution.
Mohammed called on Nigerians to separate sentiments and emotions from facts and evidence, maintained that the fight against corruption should not be mistaken for a fight against the judiciary.
He argued that the fact that about 11 of the ministers in Buhari’s cabinet are lawyers, about five of which are Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, showed that Buhari has a lot of respect for the judiciary.
“Do not confuse the fight against corruption as a fight against the judiciary. What the government is concerned and passionate about is to fight corruption.
“In the process of fighting corruption, it is not unusual that you step on some very sensitive toes but the question to ask and I think these has been adequately answered by the Attorney-General is that let’s remove emotion from facts.
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“One, do judges have immunity? The answer is no. Can judges be arrested? The answer is yes. Have judges that are serving be arrested in Nigeria? The answer is yes. Justice Okoli had been arrested and tried.” The Minister said.
According to him, the President took the cases of his three failed bids to become the President of this nation before the judiciary is a pointer to his respect for that arm of government.
The council also approved the completion of 10 megawatts winds farm project in Katsina state as well as the ongoing Federal secretariat projects in six states of the Federation.