The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has faulted a statement by the Department of State Services that arrested judges were invited for interrogation by a raid in their homes. The association also condemned the attack on judges by the secret police.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the president of the association Abubakar Mahmoud claims by the DSS that two Supreme Court judges............
– Sylvester Ngwuta and John Okoro – were invited before the raid is false. Mahmoud also said that there were no formal complaints against these judges before the raid by the DSS.

He further described the raid and arrest of the Nigerian judges by the DSS as unconstitutional. “We have engaged with the NJC and there was no evidence that has been made available to us that suggests that the two Justices of the Supreme Court were ever invited or indeed there was any complaint by anybody against them,” Mahmoud said.

“This is the information we got from the NJC and we don’t have any reason to doubt it. So, where no complaint has been made either by the DSS itself or by other citizens, then these sort of very drastic measures were taken, we do not see any justification for that,” he added.

Mahmoud further said that the apex court and other court in Nigeria are part of judicial institutions in the country and cannot be vilified under the guise of fighting corruption. “We must not destroy the institution or expose it to ridicule or disdain and humiliation both locally and internationally because of the allegations against them,” he said.

“But in this case, especially in the case of the two Justices of the Supreme Court, we have been informed that there was no formal complaint against any of the two prior to this action being taken. “With respect to the other five, we have been informed that at least cases of four of them have been dealt with by the NJC and they are being recommended for various disciplinary measures both to the President and their various governors and it is not the responsibility of the NJC to remove them as recommended by the NJC.

“The fifth case was pending before the NJC as of the time of this invasion. So, we do not see reason why this sort of military style approach should be adopted in respect of cases that have already been dealt with and disciplinary measures recommended.

“As for the two Justices of the Supreme Court where there are no complaints either to the NJC or any other authority, there is no any other justification where that sort of action should have been taken,” he concluded. Meanwhile, the attorney general of the federation and the minister of Justice Abubakar Malami has said that there is nothing wrong with the raid on the judges by the DSS. Malami also noted that nobody, including the judges are above the law.