The Department of State Security Service has released the seven judges who were arrested in the early hours of Saturday.
The Service, which conducted simultaneous operations across some states in the country and Abuja, released the seven judges, based on self-recognition.
A DSS source, who made the revelation yesterday, said “they were released on bail based on self -recognition on Sunday due to the fact that given their standing in the society, they cannot run away.
“They were instructed to come back yesterday by 10am. They did report for investigation yesterday morning and they were all allowed to go back home while investigation and preparation to charge them to court continues,” the source said.
He also noted that investigation into the issue started seven months ago, but the National Judicial Council failed to cooperate.
“Also, the action was sequel to lack of cooperation by National Judicial Council such as refusal by the NJC to allow the affected persons to be questioned by the DSS. Investigation started some seven months ago, precisely in April 2016,” the source stated.
In the wake of the Saturday’s arrests, the Service had promised to arrest eight more judges in the coming days, in its bid to rid the judiciary of corruption.
The Service also said it had enough evidence to pursue the case in the court of law and prove that the judges were actually involved in some bribry
As NJC holds emergency meeting today
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed has said the National Judicial Council (NJC) will hold emergency meeting today to review the arrest of some judges in the country.
The Department of State Service (DSS) on Saturday arrested two Justices of the Supreme Court and a number of Federal High Court judges on allegations of fraud.
Mohammed disclosed this when he delivered his address at the valedictory sitting in honour of Justice Suleman Galadima on Monday in Abuja.
“It is indeed very saddening and deeply regrettable, the distressing and unfortunate incident which occurred on Friday Oct. 7 and Saturday, October 8.
“However, I must ask all Nigerians to remain calm and prayerful, as an emergency meeting of the National Judicial Council, which will take place tomorrow, will comprehensively look into the matter.
“Furthermore, I must express my sincere appreciation to the executive of the Nigerian Bar Association ably led by President Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), and indeed, all members of the legal profession,’’ he said.
The CJN said he was delighted by the prompt action and continued support of members of the legal profession.
On the contributions of the outgoing Justice of the apex court, Mohammed said the country’s judiciary was indebted to him.
“I am sure that the teeming numbers of the legal profession that have benefited from your mentorship will concur when I opine that your contribution to our jurisprudence has been inestimable.
“Our nation’s judiciary will always support you and we are confident that when we knock on your door, you will answer.
“To young members of our noble legal profession, I say that Justice Galadima is an embodiment of hard work, dedication and a single-minded devotion to his maker and calling,’’ the CJN said.
Mohammed further said: “I am therefore, encouraging those inspired by this wonderful jurist to follow the path of his distinction that he charted throughout his long and distinguished career,”
In his address, the NBA president Abubakar Mahmud said the association was yet to recover from the shock that enveloped it from the arrest of the serving judges.
“We, therefore, urge President Muhammadu Buhari to release those senior judicial officials without further delay.
“The association is completely committed to the defence and protection of its members from any seeming, intimidation and illegal crackdown,’’ Mahmoud said.
Mahmoud described Galadima as an incorruptible judge, adding that his contributions to the country’s jurisprudence remained legendary.
Responding, Galadima expressed satisfaction on the honour done him by the management of the apex court that deemed it fit to organise the valedictory session which marked his official retirement from the bench.
“It is an honour to have served my country and indeed the judiciary to this capacity as Justice of the Supreme Court.
“I am particularly grateful to God Almighty that gave me sound life and wisdom to serve mankind as a judge,’’ Galadima said.
Galadima was appointed to the Supreme Court on September 16, 2010.