Be counted on the right side of history, MURIC tells NBA, NJC

Be counted on the right side of history, MURIC tells NBA, NJC

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An Islamic group the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has strongly objected to the stance of the Nigerian Bar Association and the National Judicial Council to the arrest of some judges over alleged corrupt practices.
The raid on some judges of High Courts and Supreme Court by the Department of State Security last week has attracted myriads of criticisms from across the country, with the NBA and the NJC not only condemning the raid and arrest but also calling for industrial action.
MURIC strongly condemned the legal bodies stance that judges should have been excluded from being investigated or persecuted, expressing grave concern at the reactions of both the NBA and the NJC, which it said exposed them as enemies of the masses.
Noting that the hapless masses, who are at the receiving end of the impact of corrupt practices in high places are aware that corrupt judges, who shield those who steal public funds, are the worst enemies of the people, MURIC added that “there is no gainsaying the fact that corruption has been responsible for the poor state of our infrastructure, which has kept Nigeria decades behind developed countries, and also responsible for the grinding poverty in the Nigerian nation.
MURIC Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement asserted that “judges who hobnob with kleptomaniacs make it possible for them to escape justice and still enjoy their loot.”
He said: “If corrupt politicians have the noun ‘thief’, judges who aid and abet them are the ones who empower the thieves with the verb ‘to steal’. Corrupt judges are therefore worst enemies of society and a threat to democracy.” Akintola added that some Nigerian judges treat thieves with honour and some rulings are so astonishing that they give the judges away, citing the case of pension executive who misappropriated a whopping N32 billion and was fined a paltry N2 million.
He also cited the case of another Nigerian judge, who gave former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, a clean slate in spite of 172-count charges preferred against, but on which he was found guilty and jailed in the United Kingdom.
He recalled another judge who ‘managed to find Lucky Igbinedion guilty of stealing N25 billion,’ and fined him N3.5 million only, adding that some Nigerian judges freed the late Dipreye Alamiesiagha, who was taught the lesson of his life by a British judge, noting that these ludicrous judicial pronouncements merely succeed in perpetuating crime.
MURIC also expressed displeasure at NBA’s reaction to the raid on the homes of some judges, noting that what did NBA say or do when Governor Seriake Dickson led thugs to attack a judge in Bayelsa State and when Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose reportedly invaded a court and slapped a High Court judge?
It asked the NDA what was its reaction when Justice Ayo Salami was rough-handled and suspended from the bench, for allegedly refusing to collect bribe from the then Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Akintola lamented that the Civil Society Network Against Corruption had claimed that there were at least 12 petitions against some judges, many of whose cases were not properly investigated, but were given soft landing by the NJC, a development he said left sour taste in the mouth.

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