A few more judges in Nigeria’s judiciary are under probe by security and anti-graft agencies for allegedly receiving monthly stipends from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), The Nation reports.
They got the illegal payments money from the $15billion meant for arms procurement, which was mismanaged by the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
It was also learnt that the National Judicial Council (NJC) has received more than 20 petitions against some judges.
According to the Nations , a Preliminary Complaint Assessment Committee is said to be sieving the petitions to establish whether or not there are prima facie evidence against their Lordships.
It reports that the committee has found no merit in the four petitions against Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court because “he acted within the law”.
Information reveals that security and anti-graft agencies are looking into the activities and conduct of more judges bordering on abuse of oath.
The NJC has sanctioned more than nine judges this year for some infractions.
They are: Justice O. Gbajabiamila (Lagos State High Court); Justice Idris M. J. Evuti (Niger State High Court); Justice Tanko Yusuf Usman (Niger State High Court); Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia; Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Enugu Division of the Federal High Court; Justice Olamide Oloyede (Osun State High Court); Justice Ladan Tsamiya of the Ilorin division of the Court of Appeal; JusticeI. A. Umezulike, Chief Judge of Enugu State; and Justice Kabiru Auta of Kano State High Court.
But many more judges may be shown the way out of the bench for corrupt practices.
It was learnt that security and anti-corruption agencies have stumbled on documents showing that some judges were on monthly stipends from the ONSA.
The said stipends were disbursed from an account which was tagged “Security Vote”.
Some judges benefited from the account in form of “assistance”; others were bought Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for official purpose, it was learnt.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “In one instance, there were allegations that some outstanding allowances and SUVs were purchased from the account for judges based on a request by some heads of some courts.