50 NGOs demand resignation of ‘corrupt’ judges.

Fifty NGOs under the umbrella of Forum of Non-Governmental Organisations have threatened to ground the judicial system if indicted judges in the bribery scandals are not prosecuted.

The forum further questioned what it termed National Judicial Council (NJC) ‘shielding’ of indicted Justices from being prosecuted while arguing that Section 2 (3) of the National Security Agencies Act 1986, conferred on the Department of State Security Services powers to prosecute financial crimes.

The forum at a press briefing yesterday also called for immediate resignations of indicted judges saying they “have been tainted in the court of public opinion” hence the need to clear themselves of the allegations against them.

“We are hereby calling on the serving judges/justices among who were arrested by the DSS to immediately step down, since the conniving NJC’s is not willing to suspend them. Even though the arrested judges/justices have not been declared guilty by any court of law, they have been tainted in the court of public opinion and their positions are no longer tenable until they have been able to clear themselves of the allegations against them.

“If the affected judges/justices fail to step down, we will mobilise Nigerians to besiege their courts until they have heeded the call to step down, which even their allies-the NBA- as well as the body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, has endorsed.

The chairman of the forum, Wole Badmus noted that while the forum did not hold the opinion that the Nigerian judiciary is corrupt, there’s need to weed off “bad eggs” from amongst judicial officers in the country.

The forum expressed worry over the deafening silence of the NLC, TUC and other mass-based Labour Unions in the ongoing fight against ‘corrupt’ judicial officers just as it admonished the federal government to continue to take the lead in the prosecution of the battle against corruption in the judiciary.

“The NJC and the NBA must not be allowed to truncate the laudable efforts of the Buhari administration to prevent the judiciary from being turned to a bazaar where justice is traded for naira and kobo and some instances, choice of foreign currencies.

“We are hereby calling on the serving judge/ justices among those who were arrested by the DSS to immediately step down since the conniving NJC is not willing to suspend them. Even though the arrested judges have not been declared guilty by any court of law, they have been tainted in the court of public opinion and their positions are no longer tenable until they have been able to clear themselves of the allegations against them. “If the affected judges/justices failed to step down, we will mobilise Nigerians to besiege their courts until they have heeded the call to step down. We will also embark on a peaceful demonstration in support of the battle to rid the judiciary of bad eggs.

“We want to say that this is not a Buhari war, neither is it the war of any political party. It is the war of all Nigerians and we call on all our citizens not to allow themselves to be misled by those who have constituted themselves into a stumbling block against the war.

“We call on the federal government to call to order the governors of Rivers and Ekiti states who have been using their immunity to obstruct the course of justice. We also demand that immediate disciplinary action be taken against law enforcement agents who collude with the governors to thwart justice,” he said.

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