Senate Condemns Gestapo-style Arrest of Judges By DSS

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* Says agency acted outside its bounds

As the National Judicial Council (NJC) meets today over the recent arrest of Judges of the Supreme and High Courts by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), the Senate has condemned what it called “midnight invasion”,  arrest and detention of the judges in some parts of the country last weekend.

Consequently, the Senate has mandated its Standing Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters to review the existing laws on security and anti-corruption agencies and get back to the House in four weeks time.

The Red Chamber said it however supports the ongoing anti-corruption fight of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration particularly efforts to sanitise the judiciary, adding that they must be carried out within the confines of the nation’s laws and respect for the principle of separation of powers.

The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on a matter of urgent national importance moved by Senator Joshua Lidani (PDP, Gombe) at plenary on Tuesday.

Other Senators, who spoke in support of the motion, acknowledged the need to purge the judicial arm of government of corruption, even as they chided the DSS for acting outside its constitutional powers.

Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi) and Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna) described the secret police’s action against the judges as a “misnomer” and illegal.

For his part, chairman Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu), said the development was “uncalled for” and condemnable, describing as a tyranny of the highest order, which should not have happened even under a military regime.

Also, contributing to the debate, the deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, reiterated that the Upper Chamber was “irrevocably” committed to anti-corruption fight of the government, noting that if the action of the DSS was compliance with the laws of the land, it will not have generated the aftermath outcry.

Senate President Bukola Saraki also said the Senate was in total support of the anti-corruption war, stressing that it must be fought within the confines of the laws.

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