The Department of State Security Services (DSS) has arrested two more judges over corruption allegations bringing the number of those arrested to nine.
The two, Justices Bashir Sukola and Ladan Manir of the Kaduna State High Court, were picked up in Kaduna and bundled to the DSS Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday night, where they were taken in for interrogation.
This is even as the service has been flooded with petitions by Nigerians who claim to have parted with huge sums of money given to the accused judges, prompting the DSS to shift the arraignment of the arrested judges in court.
A source at the secret police revealed that after the arrest and names of the judges were made public, a number of aggrieved people have come forward with more information on them, and agreed to testify against them.
The source, a top official who spoke under condition of anonymity, stated that it was for this reason the trial of the judges had to be postponed, for the DSS to put its case together, even as it awaits the National Judicial Commission to suspend them, so that a sitting judge will not be arraigned in court.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the bank accounts of some of the judges reportedly containing huge sums of lodgments have been frozen. “We found some huge lodgments that are questionable in some accounts, and in addition to that we also observed the inflow of their salaries over a long period without them making any withdrawal at all.
“What that means is that they don’t live on their salaries at all”, he stated.
He also revealed that contrary to accusations in some quarters, the DSS adhered to the rule of law in the arrest of the judges, and accorded them respect in the search of their residences.
The source added that in the case of Justice Ademola Adeniyi, he “requested that his lawyer should be present before his residence could be searched. The counsel came, examined the search warrant and confirmed the validity of the warrant. He thereafter asked the judge to cooperate with the DSS team.
“Some of the judges also allowed their lawyers to witness the search of their homes”, he said.
Meanwhile, the NJC is expected to take a stand today (Thursday) on the judges’ matter.
This much was gathered after it rounded-off an emergency meeting it convened over the arrest of the judges, Wednesday night.