The AGF is said to have taken the step following the alleged failure of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to investigate the claims against the six judges as contained in several petitions submitted to the council by various groups.
The list reportedly sent to the DSS by the AGF takes the number of judicial officers presently being probed by the agency to 21. The agency had over the weekend arrested 7 judges and claimed to be investigating another 8.
The letter from the AGF’s office asking the DSS to also investigate the six judges was sent on Monday, reports Punch.
The names on the minister’s list are said to include two Chief Judges of High Courts, three judges of different divisions of the Federal High Court, and a Justice of the Court of Appeal.
One of the petitions accused a judge of the Federal High Court of granting a perpetual injunction, restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from investigating criminal allegations against a businessman.
Another petition accused a Justice of the Court of Appeal and others, who served on an election petitions appeal panel this year, of receiving N8m from a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
The AGF’s letter, forwarding the names of the six judges to the DSS, reportedly reads in part:
“Undoubtedly, if this type of deliberate inattentiveness; lethargy and benign neglect and dereliction of responsibility by the NJC is allowed to persist in an administration that came to power under the mantle of change, it will surely lead to the death knell of the judicial branch of government, which centrality the maintenance of law, order, rule of law and social harmony cannot be overemphasised.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Muhammed, has formally written to President Muhammadu Buhari on the decision of the NJC on the cases of misconduct established against some judges.
A source within the presidency hinted that the CJN’s letter addressed the issue of a judge accused of receiving a N200m bribe, and steps taken to sanction some other judges accused of misconduct.
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