The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, AGF, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said that all judicial officers, including judges who have been sacked by the National Judicial Council, NJC, over alleged judicial corruption would face criminal prosecution in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s war against corruption.
The AGF stated this in Lagos on Tuesday at the launch of a 76-page report written by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) entitled, “Go Home and Sin No More; Corrupt Judges Escaping from Justice in Nigeria.’’
According to the Minister, none of the judges removed over alleged judicial corruption on the recommendations of the National Judicial Commission (NJC) has so far been prosecuted.
Malami, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on White Collar Crimes, Mr Abiodun Aikhomu, noted that all the sectors, including the judiciary, have already been infected by systemic corruption and impunity.
“As we may be aware, this administration promised Nigerians that it will promptly address the challenges facing our nation in the areas of corruption, economy and security.
“In this regard, I am reiterating that the fight against corruption shall be total and will not exclude judicial officers.
“Acts of judicial impunity will also not be condoned so that our judges can be judicially accountable at all times in a corruption-free judiciary which is both independent and impartial.
“Let no one be in doubt that the legitimate expectations of Nigerians shall be met. After all, it is beyond doubt that a corrupt judge cannot meaningfully contribute to the fight against corruption.
This, he said, would be achieved in collaboration with SERAP and other organisations, according to the rule of law and international best practices without violating the fundamental human rights of the persons involved.
The Minister gave assurance that his office would ensure the criminal prosecution and forfeiture of the property of all judicial officers convicted of corrupt act to the state.