Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, on Tuesday said the era when corrupt judges escaped justice was over.
Speaking in Lagos during the launch of ‘Go and sin no more’, a report of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Malami, who was represented by Abiodun Aikomo, one of his senior special assistants, said the current administration would ensure that judicial officials who abuse their offices are sent to jail.
“Corrupt judges will go to jail as the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will actively promote and ensure that corrupt judges are prosecuted and their illegally acquired assets are returned to the state,” Olukayode Majekodunmi, SERAP’s deputy executive director, quoted him as saying.
“Considering the pivotal role that they play in the administration of justice, it is important to ensure that Nigerian judges, like the proverbial Ceazer’s wife, are beyond reproach or even suspicion. Gone are the days when corrupt judges escaped from Justice in Nigeria!
“In line with the cardinal agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the office of the honourable attorney-general of the federation shall ensure that every appearance of corruption in the Judiciary is dealt among other measures through criminal prosecution and forfeiture to the state of illegally acquired assets.
“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. All these shall be achieved without violating the fundamental human rights of the persons involved, and in line with rule of law and international best practices.
“The judiciary’s one and only mandate should be to deliver justice without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. The world over, the rule of law, and separation of powers which are inseparable components of a democratic government, presupposes the existence of an independent and impartial judiciary.”