A retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Samson Uwaifo, is recommending prosecution and jail term for corrupt judges if the National Judicial Council wants the judiciary to be free of corruption.
Justice Uwaifo shared this opinion in an exclusive interview with Channels Television at his country home in Benin City, the Edo state capital.
He stressed that while the Nigerian judiciary is not corrupt, there are indeed corrupt judges in Nigeria.
“A corrupt judge is more harmful to the society than a man who runs amok with a dagger in a crowded street.
“If a judge is corrupt, he is no longer a judge, he is a thief and therefore he should be treated as such, according to the law and sent to jail,” he said.
The 82-year-old retired judge said that more importance should be placed on ridding the judiciary of corruption than the process of doing so as the law has the mechanism to punish the security agencies when they flout its provisions.
“The substantive issue is corruption. Is it true that these people are actually corrupt and that huge sums of money were found in their place?
“If that is so, the question of the procedure that was taken would be a secondary thing – DSS can be punished for what they did (wrong) but (focus should be) on the result (of the DSS action).”
He also frowned at the NJC’s decision to retire one of the judges who was accused of taking a large sum as bribe, describing the action as unacceptable, as “they should have dismissed him”.