Corrupt Judges, Lawyers, Must Be Prosecuted – Sagay
SAN FRANCISCO, May 08, (THEWILL) – Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay has declared that Judges and lawyers who brought shame to the judiciary must be punished for authority, power and dignity of the judiciary to be restored.
Also to be punished, according to Prof. Sagay, are public servants and politicians who conspired to bribe and corrupt the judges adding that Senior Advocates of Nigeria 'who shamelessly approach judges and introduce them to culture of corruption deserve harsh punishment.
Delivering a paper at the 2017 Annual Law Week of the Nigeria Bar Association, Edo State Branch, Prof. Sagay urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate, arrest, and jail lawyers who receive loots as fee from corrupt public servants and politicians.
In his paper titled: “Corruption in the judiciary; the disciplinary role of the NJC vis-à-vis law enforcement agencies”, Prof Sagay said Judges must be perfect and remain the repository of honour, integrity and high moral authority.
He said when the law court across the country failed to interpret, apply and enforce the law, the existence of the any civilized society will be endangered adding that loss of confidence in the judiciary will amount to chaos and disintegration.
“No one ever expected judges to throw caution, rectitude, honour, justice and the credibility of the judiciary to the winds by selling his judgment,” he said.
“This is the destructive culture brought about by election petitions which has spread like epidemic through our formerly hallowed judicial system.
“The disciplinary procedures of the NJC were not set up for such crime. That is why tragically we are now experiencing judges being tried in court like common criminals. That is why the anti-corruption and security agencies have taken it upon themselves to continue from where the NJC's authority ends.
“The bottom line is that judges enjoy no immunity from investigation, arrest, trial and conviction.
“In order to restore the authority, power and dignity of the judiciary, we must go through extra ordinary painful process of punishing those who have brought same and obliging to that sacred institution.
“Lawyers should be treated like accomplice after the fact because they share in the proceeds of the crimes of politically exposed persons and once paid from that stained loot, it becomes their life's struggle to protect and shield the primary criminals from the consequences of their crime.”