The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, on Tuesday backed the anti-corruption war against suspected corrupt judges, describing any attempt to deify members of the bench over arrest, as hypocritical.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran, who made this known in a press statement, said the arrest of the suspected corrupt judges by the Department of State Services (DSS) does not in any way represent an attack on the Judiciary by the Executive.
The coalition said it was instead, a bold and daring step to right the wrongs of the extant order.
Adeniran condemned criticisms emanating from some quarters over the arrest, adding that it is hypocritical to hide under the guise of the rule of law to pander corruption.
He further affirmed that such action has become necessary considering recent sharp practices of some unimaginable dimensions within the legal profession.
“We assert also that, there cannot be halfway measures and undue pampering of corruption suspects whether they are Judges, lawyers, Presidents, Governors, legislators or whatever, as long as they are Nigerians they are bound by the so-called ‘rule of law’ of the country
“Talking about the Judiciary itself, CACOL believes the arrest of the suspected corrupt Judges does not represent an attack on that Arm of government by the Executive because we know that hitherto, sharp practices of unimaginable dimensions within the rank and file of the Bar and Bench had been perpetrated times without number”, he said.
The CACOL boss, who expressed dismay over the recent corrupt practices within the once enviable profession, alleged that the major player in the anti-graft war now aid corruption criminals to wriggle through “the labyrinth of the criminal justice system to escape justice”.
“As for lawyers, it is unfortunate that most Nigerians cannot differentiate between the conscientious lawyers and the incurably corrupt ones who are aiders and abettors of corruption. But the history of the anti-corruption fight have revealed severally a clear pattern where the corrupt elements loot as much as they can, and then get the services of a Senior Advocate of Nigerian, SAN or more who in turn coach and help the crook on how to escape justice at very astronomical charges that commensurate with the loot”, he said.
On the civility and manner of the arrest, Adeniran said “the officials of the DSS who embarked on ‘Sting Operation’ are empowered by sections 9, 10, 12, 13 and 149 (2) of the ACJA to ‘break open any outer or inner door or window of any house or place’ where unhindered access is denied upon demand”.
“Obviously the need to break a door wouldn’t have arisen if unhindered access into the house of the affected judge had been availed!” he added.