How ‘corrupt’ judges used wives, children’s accounts to siphon huge sums of money
The Department of State Service (DSS) has concrete evidence of monumental corruption against the judges in its custody, Vanguard reports.
Details of what necessitated the DSS sting operations over the weekend against judges of the Supreme, Appeal and High courts have emerged.
The newspaper quoted a competent source, a DSS official, to have disclosed that some of the judges used their wives, children’s names and pictures to open accounts in various banks, where billions of Naira were saved.
According to the source, these family members were unaware such accounts existed in their names – the Bank Verification Number (BVN) system exposed the accounts.
“As we speak now, we have incontrovertible evidence of brazen corruption against the seven judges in our custody and we are ready to charge them to court, even tomorrow,” the source said.
“When we brought in most of the children, wives and relatives of the suspects based on the papers we got from the banks, they did not even have an idea that their names had been used by the judges to open such accounts.
“But you see under the Bank Verification Number, you must put in your passports, name, signature and others. So, for some of the judges, who used fake names and their wives names to open the accounts into which they paid in the proceeds of crime, they foolishly appended their signatures or used their pictures, something that gave them out.
“From what we have found out, some of the suspects acted foolishly in committing the offence because they cannot prove that even if their children were to earn N1 million monthly since they were born till date, none of them can accumulate the amount of money we have traced to their accounts and the type of property they have.
“Look, it may interest you to know that one of the two Supreme Court judges in our custody has a property worth N1.5 billion in one of the South-South states. If we may ask, where did he get the money to set up such project?”
“As far as we are concerned, there is nothing unusual in arresting corrupt judges and taking them to court because it would be an offence against the nation to continue to turn a blind eye to mounting corruption in the judiciary.”
It was also revealed that another judge disguised as a shopper in one of the supermarkets in the country and collected bribes in Dollars from an undisclosed person. The transaction was said to have been caught on CCTV.
The source said that the National Judicial Council (NJC) which is supposed to be responsible for tracking and punishing corrupt judges, has seemingly looked the other way on the being perpetrated by the judges.
The source cited the case of the three judges who were arrested on Friday as a typical example.
“The NJC, having been satisfied that the three judges demanded and collected heavy bribes, merely recommended the retirement of the one who took a bribe of N200 million and asked him to be paying back in bits to the complainant. So, we ask, what happens to the proceeds of crimes? No answer was given until we stepped in.”
“Similarly, the two other judges were retired with full benefits, smiled away. Since then, the NJC has not been cooperating with us and we cannot allow the rot to continue in the interest of Nigeria,” the source said.
The source, however dared several persons and organizations condemning the raid to take the agency to court over the matter.