Some members of the National Assembly has condemned the arrest of Supreme court judges by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Punch reports that particularly the PDP caucus of the House, condemned the arrest posing it as a “threat to democracy.” Some of the members however aired their views on the arrest.
The leader of the PDP caucus, Leo Ogor, while criticizing the actions of the DSS said their activities cannot be justified in the National Security Agencies Act
“We condemn in its entirety, the said Gestapo invasion of the residences and arrests of the judges at those odd hours. It is not only unlawful but a threat to due process, usurpation of the responsibilities of the Nigeria Police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission or the National Judicial Council.
“We have taken pains to further analyse the National Security Agencies Act, from where the State Security Service, under the provision of Section 3, derives its powers.
“We make bold to state that we could not find anything like the fight against corruption or financial crimes in the SSS mandate.
“Let it be known to Nigerians and the world at large that the core functions of SSS, border on treasonable crime and nothing more,” he said.
The chairman, House committee on federal judiciary, Aminu Shagari, also said that the DSS failed to follow due process by invading the homes of the judges and arresting them.
Some senators did not fail to express their views on the issue saying their action was unfair and unacceptable.
The chairman, Senate committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Dino Melaye, in a statement he issued in Abuja, said although judges had no immunity and could be tried, the use of DSS by government was wrong.
“There is no doubt that many judges are corrupt. It is also important to state the need to sanitise the judiciary of corruption that make judges to give commercial rulings which create terrible precedent in our legal system.
“Judges have no immunity and can be tried and should be tried but the use of DSS is absolutely wrong.
“The DSS operatives, even when they overstretch themselves and conduct investigations into the activities of judges, they ought to hand over their findings to the appropriate institutions of government, the police or NJC, for prosecution and punishment,” he said.
The deputy minority whip of the Senate, Senator Abiodun Olujimi, described the raids by the DSS as a return to the anarchy predominant during military rule.
“It does not make any sense and it is not fair. We can’t bring our exalted leaders down just for the sake of it. Granted, they (DSS) could want to investigate the judges, but there are more civilised ways to go about it,” she said.
The Department of Secret Service (DSS) had on Friday, October 7, announced that they raided the homes of some Supreme court judges across the country over allegations of corruption leveled against them.
The arrest of the judges followed a petition that they allegedly received bribes from Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state. Nigerians have come out to condemn President Muhammadu Buhari administration for the unprecedented action of the DSS.
However, the DSS announced the release the seven judges, including two justices of the Supreme Court,on Monday evening, October 10, who were arrested on suspicion of bribery and corruption last week. They were reported to have been released on bail on self recognition.