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Arrest of judges: Attorney General says judges are not above the law

By News Express on 12/10/2016

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Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Tuesday, reacted to the arrest of seven judges by the Department of State Services DSS saying the judges were not above the law and their arrest was on the grounds of reasonable suspicion.

Over the weekend, seven judges were arrested by the DSS for allegedly receiving bribes and indulging in profession misconduct.

Malami said this while inaugurating the “country expert review committee for the second cycle of the review of implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.”

He said the judiciary has a responsibility to fight corruption, and there is a prima facie case against the judges who are still being expected to be arraigned in court.

“The fundamental consideration is whether there is an allegation of the commission of a crime; whether there is the need for investigation, and whether the relevant provisions of the law and, indeed, all circumstances, as provided in the Administration of Criminal Justice Act are put into consideration in our conduct as regard the fight against corruption.

“The bottom line is that we have a responsibility to fight corruption. Corruption is a crime and nobody, regardless of how highly placed, is exempted as far as issues that border on crimes and criminalities are concerned.

“Once crimes and criminality are concerned, nobody is an exception. I think the undertone should be exclusively the consideration of the existence of a prima facie case; existence of reasonable grounds for suspicion of commission of a crime.”

Malami tasked the review committee to work towards achieving the goals of the government, which is aimed at curbing corruption.

He also expressed confidence in the ability of members to execute their responsibilities.

“The extant review focusing on Chapter II and V of the UNCAC, relating to preventive measures against corruption in public and private sectors and asset recovery, is both necessary and timely at this time in the annals of our country, when endemic cum systemic corruption has created a great discontent between our nation’s wealth and the quality of life of ordinary citizens.”

“It is therefore important to note that your performance in this assignment will be a step in the direction for us as a country and people to achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves — prevent corruption, recover, return and manage stolen assets.”

Members of the committee are drawn from 22 agencies of the Federal Government, including the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-corruption Reforms. (TV360 Nigeria)

•Photo shows AGF Abubakar Malami.

 

Source News Express

Posted 12/10/2016 05:01:49 AM

 

 

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