The Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Dino Melaye, has condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s approach on the arrest of some Supreme Court judges.
Melaye, who is also the Senate Committee Chairman on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), described the president’s use of DSS to invade the residence of some Judges as "absolutely wrong and unacceptable."
According to him, the Department of State Services, acted outside its core mandate.
Well armed DSS and police operatives had in the early hours of Saturday invaded the residences of senior judges of the Supreme Court and Federal High Court in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Gombe States, breaking into their homes and allegedly beating up family members and aides.
He said, "I have studied the Act setting up DSS, Nigerian Intelligence Agency and DIA and can conclude that the DSS operatives went outside their core mandate. There is no doubt that many Judges are corrupt. It is also important to state the need to sanitise the judiciary of corruption that make Judges not to give commercial rulings which create terrible precedence in our legal system. Judges have no immunity and can be tried and should be tried but the use of DSS is absolutely wrong.
"The DSS operatives even when they overstretched themselves and conducted investigations on the Judges. They ought to hand over their findings to the appropriate institutions of government: the Police or National Judicial Council for prosecution and punishment.
"The rule of law is a core value of governance and therefore must be guided jealousy. Prosecution of civil and corruption cases in not the responsibility of DSS. Internal security is the main duty of the DSS and they should stick to that. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria."
At least two of the Justices were said to have recently ruled against the DSS and condemned its disregard of the laws of the land during its operations.
The Judges - Justices Walter Onnoghen and Sylvester Ngwuta – are of the Supreme Court, while Justices Adeniyi Ademola and Nnamdi Dimgba are of the Federal High Court.
Justices Onnoghen is the second in rank and the most likely successor to the outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Justice Ademola was taken away at about 5am on Saturday, while the DSS operatives allegedly beat up Justice Dimgba’s brother during the operation.
On Friday, Justice Muazu Pindiga, who was the first chairman of the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal, before he was changed midway into the hearing of the dispute arising from the 2015 governorship election in the state, was arrested in Gombe and has not been heard from since then.
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