FULL DETAILS: Why SSS Raid Homes Of Senior Judges

The State Security Service raided the homes of some senior Nigerian judges Friday and Saturday to gather evidence of corruption, officials have confirmed.

The raids on multiple residences in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Gombe, Kano, Enugu and Sokoto, were not aimed at arresting the judges, they said.

An official said the operation was ordered after months of investigations, during which secret police established credibly that the affected judges were involved in questionable financial dealings with some highly corrupt politicians.

The SSS initially submitted parts of its findings to the regulatory body, the National Judicial Council.

Officials said SSS moved in because the NJC merely recommended two of the judges for retirement, and not prosecution.

The council also refused to cooperate with the SSS as the agency launched wider investigations into the cases for more evidence of corruption against senior judges.

Judges whose homes were raided include Adeniyi Ademola, and Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja as well as Sylvester Ngwuta and John Okoro of the Supreme Court.

In Kano, the source told PT that the home of a high court judge, Kabiru Auta, was raided along with another residence in Enugu belonging to the Chief Judge of the state, A. I. Umezulike.

The two judges were earlier recommended for retirement recently by the NJC.

The residences of a Gombe State judge, Muazu Pindiga, as well as that of another from Sokoto state, Justice Samia, were also raided during the operation.

During the search, documents linking two Justices - Ngwuta or Okoro - to estates worth over N1.5b were recovered.

At the residence of Mr. Ademola, the SSS recovered at least $400,000 and N39million in cash, in addition to documents of landed properties belonging to the federal judge.

The raid at Justice Mohammed Liman’s residence in Port Harcourt, our sources said, was ordered to allow operatives search the house because he was believed to be in possession of $2million.

The SSS is being frustrated by the NJC in it's effort to take out corrupt judges from the system but it is obvious that the days ahead will be tough.

A top Ministry of Justice official said: 
“The Federal Government has commenced the arrest and detention of some corrupt judges as part of its effort to cleanse the judiciary. This exercise has just begun and will continue until the bad eggs are flushed out to give the country a new lease of life....I can assure you that we will carry it to a logical conclusion in the overall interest of the nation.”