Chief Justice of Nigeria: Judges' Arrest Deeply Regrettable and Distressing

Justice Mahmud Mohammed, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, has described the mode of arrest of seven judges by the Department of State Security (DSS) as “deeply regrettable.”

While speaking at a valedictory session for Justice Suleiman Galadima of the Supreme Court today in Abuja, Justice Mohammed urged Nigerians to pray for the country.

He said: “It is indeed very saddening and deeply regrettable, the distressing and unfortunate incident which occurred on Friday 7 October and Saturday 8 October, 2016.”

The Chief Justice said an emergency meeting of the National Judicial Council, “which will take place tomorrow, will comprehensively look into the matter.”

“Furthermore, I must express my appreciation to the executive of the Nigerian Bar Association ably led by the President, Abubakar Mahmoud and indeed all members of the legal profession for their prompt action and continued support,” he said.

The arrested judges by DSS include John Okoro and Sylvester Nguta of the Supreme Court, Namdi Dimgba and Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja; Kabiru Auta, from Kano; Muazu Pindiga in Gombe, and a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Innocent Umezulike.

They are likely to be arraigned anytime soon.