By Our reporter
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has expressed displeasure over the threat made by the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) regarding the action taken by Department of State Security (DSS) in arrest, last weekend, of allegedly corrupt Judges, saying the action by Federal Government is a welcome development to curb corruption in Nigeria judiciary.
In a press statement made available to The DEFENDER, the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, stated that it was disheartening when the judiciary known to be the last hope of common man had become corrupt.
His words: “We are deeply disturbed by the reaction of the NBA. Is this body telling us that judges are sacred cows or above the law? NBA must look around the world and tell us where judges are allowed to get away with dirty deals.
“India, China and Ghana are good examples. 867 Indian judges were arrested and punished for corrupt practices in 2011. Two other judges were arrested in India in 2014 for collecting money to settle cases in favour of the givers. Just last year 2015, Xi Xiaoming, Vice President of the Supreme People’s Court of China was arrested for receiving money from litigants. China’s lawyers did not pull down the Chinese sky. In Ghana, about 34 judges were recently charged for corruption. Twenty of them were dismissed on December 8, 2015. Ghanaians did not celebrate the corrupt judges.
“But in Nigeria, all hell is let loose each time somebody from our religion or tribe is facing corruption charges. The focus this time is quite saddening coming from a much revered profession, the law itself. NBA wants us to rain praises on corrupt judges. Must we fold our arms while Nigerian judges corruptly enrich themselves and justice is made available only to the rich? How on earth do Nigerians think corruption can be eliminated or reduced if we always want to defend the indefensible once he has the slightest affiliation to us,” the statement.
It would be recalled that men of the DSS recently raided the homes of some Nigerian judges. Huge amounts of foreign and local currencies were seized from their homes. The Nigeria Bar Association consequently issued a warning to boycott courts unless the judges were set free.
However, recent revelations have shown that judges collude with criminals and corrupt politicians to thwart efforts aimed at reducing the rate of crime and corruption by the sitting government of the country. The judiciary as the last hope of the common man must be above board, MURIC warned.
Akintola, while appealing to the legal body, says: “MURIC appeals to the NBA and all other stakeholders to allow justice to take its due course. We all pledged unalloyed support to the Federal Government’s war against corruption. Our duty as a serious people is to leave the thief alone. Allow the anti-graft agents to do their job. It is disgusting that NBA has abused due process. They know the law. They know that a man or a judge is assumed innocent until he is proved guilty. This has been a gospel preached by their members all over the place.”