Hundreds of protesters under the umbrella body of Nigerians United Against Corruption (NUAC) today marched to the headquarters of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, calling on them to withdraw their support for the arrested judges.
They also urged the NBA not to support corruption in any form
Led by Comrade Ogenyi Okpokwu, NUAC, in a protest letter submitted to the National President of the NBA, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, a senior advocate, also called on the umbrella body of lawyers to set up an independent body to investigate issues of corruption in the profession, with the aim of excommunicating the bad eggs
The Directorate of State Security (DSS) had last weekend arrested justices Sylvester Ngwuta and John Okoro; the suspended Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Tsamiya; Justice Kabiru Auta of the Kano State High Court; and Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Others arrested were a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike; and Muazu Pindiga of the Federal High Court, Gombe Division
NUAC in the letter demanded, “That the NBA withdraws all form of support and sympathy for these corrupt elements which have most certainly tainted the image of one of the world’s most dignified professions.
“That you set up an independent body to investigate issues of corruption amongst members with the aim of excommunicating same, as deterrent to others who may have been enticed by the flamboyant life styles of these judases.
“All the judges so far indicted or arrested for corruption immediately resign considering the magnitude of the case that the DSS has built against them.
“The cases of those that have been given lenient punishments that amount to a slap on the wrist by the National Judicial Council (NJC) should be revisited with a view to dragging them before a law court.
“The arrested judges should be charged to court within the shortest time possible to that they cannot claim their rights were violated”.
The protesters were armed with placard with various inscriptions such as “a corrupt judge is worse than boko Haram; corruption must die in Nigeria; we support more arrest of corrupt Nigerians among others”.
The representative of the NBA President, Ezekiel David received the protest letter from the group.