Nigerian judges out on bail after weekend arrests
Abuja – The Nigerian judges arrested at the weekend as part of a corruption probe have been released on bail, a source said on Monday, after the detention drew sharp rebuke from legal and rights groups.
“They were all released on bail yesterday (Sunday) on self-recognition,” the source within the Department of State Services (DSS) told AFP.
“They did report for investigation this morning (Monday) and they have gone back home. And the investigation continues…” the source added.
“Everything went very procedurally well and civil.”
At least seven judges were arrested at the weekend on allegations of receiving bribes, leading to an outcry from the bar association and rights groups who described the raids as “unprecedented”.
The investigation involves a total of 15 judges.
DSS said it had seized $800 000 in cash during the nation-wide operation which was prompted by allegations of corruption and professional misconduct made by other judges.
On Monday, Chief Justice Mahmud Mohammed condemned the arrests as “deeply regrettable.”
The DSS said the arrests followed “lack of co-operation by the National Judicial Council, such as refusal by the NJC to allow the affected persons to be questioned by the DSS.”
The agency said its investigation started in April.
The bar association has scheduled an emergency session on the issue on Tuesday.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, was voted into power last year on an anti-graft platform.
But critics have claimed his corruption war is being used as a front to sideline political.