The newspaper for Monday, October 10, focus on the extension of the anti-corruption to ex-governors and the fallout over the DSS arrest of some judges.
President Muhammadu Buhari has extended his anti-corruption war to ex-governors, most of whom are now serving senators. The Sun newspaper, citing Buhari’s biographer, Prof. John Paden, reports that nine senators are currently facing corruption cases, five are being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices (and other related) Corruption (ICPC) for alleged misappropriation of N57.2 billion.
The senators under probe according to Buhari’s biographer are: Ahmed Sani Yerima who ruled Zamfara State between 1999 and 2007 (N1billion); former governor of Plateau state who recently defected to Buhari’s APC from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Joshua Dariye (N1.2 billion) and ex-governor of Gombe State and incumbent Senate Committee Chairman on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje (N25 billion).
Others senators are: former governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Adamu (N15 billion) and son of former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako), Senator Abdulaziz Nyako (N15 billion). The book also states that President Buhari is under intense pressure to drop corruption charges against chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) facing corruption cases.
Meanwhile, the crackdown on judges across the country, by the Department of State Service (DSS) has generated outrage from lawyers who describe the crackdown as a declaration of war against the Judiciary. Vanguard newspaper reports that the judiciary workers under the aegis of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) described the arrest of some judges, accused of corruption by the DSS as ‘uncivilised’ and called for their unconditional release.
JUSUN has also summoned an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting for Tuesday, October 11, to have a holistic view of the action of the DSS. The union decried the way the DSS went over the issue, stressing that the secret police should have forwarded names of the suspected corrupt officers to NJC.
The Nation reports that the DSS has made more allegations against some judges in a bid to explain the controversial sting operations in which some judges were arrested at the weekend.
The Nation newspaper for Monday, October 10 According to the allegations made by the secret service, one of the judges just acquired N1.5billion mansion, another allegedly collected bribe in a department store and one allegedly crossed the borders to Benin Republic, Niger Republic and Ghana to collect money.
The DSS was said to be in possession of audio and video tapes of some of the judges collecting bribe. Findings by the Nation states that seven of the 15 judges under probe have been detained by the DSS.
Those detained are two Supreme Court judges-Justices Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro; the suspended Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya, who was picked up in Sokoto; Justice Adeniyi Ademola ( Federal High Court); the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike; Justice Kabiru Auta of Kano State High Court; and Justice Muazu Pindiga ( Gombe State High Court).
The secret service states that more judges are to be arrested across the country as part of the efforst to rid the judiciary of corruption. The Guardian reports that service has disclosed that it would arraign the affected judicial officers in court this week.
The government has defended the clampdown on judges, insisting that the recent move by the government was to stamp out corruption and not to attack judicial officers. The senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in a statement said Buhari still reserves his highest respect for the institution of the judiciary as the third arm of government, and will not do anything to undermine its independence.
Meanwhile, the commissioner of police, Rivers state command, Mr. Francis Odesanya, is to be sanctioned for allegedly preventing security agencies from carrying out an arrest of a judge of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, in the early hours of Saturday, October 9.
The Punch newspaper, citing source reports that preliminary report had shown that Odesanya prevented the security agencies from carrying out a legitimate order. The source said based on the report, police authorities as well as the police service commission would sanction the police boss.