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FILE: Three times the FBI arrested ‘corrupt’ judges in US — just like the DSS

FILE: Three times the FBI arrested ‘corrupt’ judges in US — just like the DSS
October 09
17:53 2016

Just like the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested some judges for alleged corruption last Friday, a cursory check of possible instances shows that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – the closest thing to Nigeria’s DSS – has a history of acting in like manner on judges.

The DSS raided the homes of some judges across country, claiming it recovered huge wads from them. The secret police arrested some of them.

Some of the judges the DSS arrested are Adeniyi Ademola and Nnamdi Dimgba (federal high court), and Slyvester Ngwuta and John Okoro (supreme court).

Ademola is the judge handling the trial of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA), who is being prosecuted by the DSS for alleged illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.


The judge has been critical of the DSS owing its refusal to release Dasuki after he had granted him bail.

Dimgba has also criticised the DSS for its high-handedness.

The DSS claims it is on a mission to sanitise the judiciary.


A debate now rages over the propriety of their action.

But here are three instances from the world’s “greatest democracy”.


On January 31, 2013, the FBI arrested nine judges for “conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, perjury, making false statements to the FBI, and aiding and abetting”.

One of the judges, Willie Singletary, was seen in a video meeting with a motorcycle club called the Philadelphia First State Road Rattlers, saying: “There’s going to be a basket going around because I’m running for Traffic Court judge, right, and I need some money. I got some stuff that I got to do, but if you all can give me $20 you’re going to need me in Traffic Court. Am I right about that? … Now you all want me to get there, you’re all going to need my hook-up, right?”


Some of the accused judges — who were on the bench between 2008 and 2011 — are William Hird and Michael Sullivan.

They faced hundreds of years in prison.


On November 4, 2015, the agency arrested a superior North Carolina court judge for bribery and corruption.

The judge,  Arnold Jones II allegedly attempted to bribe an FBI agent for information on what he described as a “family matter.” He faced about 37 years in jail.


Prosecutors said he approached the unidentified FBI officer in October 2015, and the two subsequently met in Goldsboro to exchange $100 for a disk supposedly containing the text messages.

Jones initially offered to give the officer “a couple cases of beer” for his help but later agreed to $100 in cash.


MAY 2014

Also, on May 30, 2014, it arrested a superior Puerto Rico court judge for bribery.

Manuel Acevedo Hernandez, the judge, was accused of accepting bribes to pervert the cause of justice in a fatal drunk-driving case. He was detained at his home after the FBI concluded its investigation.


The 62-year-old was detained at his home in the northwestern coastal town of Aguadilla.

The indictment also charges that the judge agreed to acquit Lutgardo Acevedo Lopez, a certified public accountant, in exchange for help in being promoted to appellate judge and to find employment for two of relatives.


“In my 35 years of experience, I’ve never seen anything like this,” US Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez said at the time.

The judge pleaded not guilty and received a $50,000 bail.

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  1. leman
    leman October 09, 18:20

    Your comment..Good instances,where are the lawyers who claim to know law but are ignorant of the fact that judges can be arrested? We need more of such arrests.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Nicholas
    Nicholas October 09, 19:17

    In all this cases, solid evidences some with video evidences were presented and used to arrest the judges and mind you in all this instances this article didn’t say the judges were found guilty but at least the FBI had credible evidence to back these arrests most of them been video evidences it seems. Can DSS present the evidence of corruption which was used to initiate these arrests. No one says they shouldn’t do their jobs but they should do it properly with due process.

    Reply to this comment
    • Ebube
      Ebube October 09, 19:51

      The DSS does not owe you any evidence before they do their job. It is the court that will demand evidence in other for DSS to be able to prove it’s case against the accused. Same thing here in the US. FBI or Police will turnover their Solid evidence to the court and not the people. They only provide information on preliminary findings based on their investigation to the people. Please get your facts right. Mind you, these are just but a few cases of arrest of judges here in the US.

      Reply to this comment
      • cool
        cool October 09, 21:26

        Which one of them were arrested in Gestapo manner in the dead of night like the one we have here.

        Reply to this comment
      • Rufus
        Rufus October 09, 22:03

        The FBI must first obtain arrest warrant before it could proceed to arrest a suspect . A search warrant must also be obtained before any search. Once a suspect has been informed of his arrest his right to remain silent MUST be read to him. That is the Rule of law. Did that take place in these Nigerian episode, No.

        Reply to this comment
      • Pompeii
        Pompeii October 10, 08:08

        One reasonable reply I have seen in ages.

        God bless you.

        Reply to this comment
    • Ebube
      Ebube October 09, 19:53

      A simple google search will enlighten you. Here is one other example:

      Reply to this comment
    • cruxx
      cruxx October 09, 20:17

      The cash found in their possesion is enough evidence.

      Reply to this comment
      • Akan
        Akan October 10, 10:30

        What if DSS took the money there? Have you think about that? Nothing is impossible so let us wait and see how the whole thing unfolds , before we condemn anyone.

        Reply to this comment
    • Ganzi
      Ganzi October 09, 23:01

      I’m on the same page with you. There’s what you call evidence and due process. people should stop behaving in a lawless manner especially when we are operating a democracy. For crying out loud, we are not in an autocratic Military regime.

      Reply to this comment
    • Fash
      Fash October 09, 23:28

      This is a fantastically corrupt judges in a fantastically corrupt Society where fantastically arrest must be initiated. Mind you Nigeria is bleeding of corruption. So due process should go on recess.

      Reply to this comment
    • Bishop
      Bishop October 10, 00:24

      Oga we run a mafia system of politics in Nigeria;so if you think the dss would get evidence against the judges acting like gentlemen》you are dreaming. For a long time this guys have been boxed as “untouchables”,so to break that box》critical and daring actions such as the arrest must be done in order to gather all evidence.
      They obviously had all their facts right for them to have made that stunt.
      If you know the unfair judgement these most judges have made because of money, you would keep mute and pray for more exposures.

      Reply to this comment
    • Manuel tobby
      Manuel tobby October 10, 11:32

      DSS should give you the evidence they have? ??? Because you are what? ??

      Please if the thing pain that much please go help hire a lawyer and Sue DSS.


      Reply to this comment
    • Jon
      Jon October 10, 17:29

      I suppose the DSS must present or should have presented the evidence to your humble self, right? Otherwise it wouldn’t be acceptable, right? And it also doesn’t matter whether these judges or any one among them is truly soiled, right? All that matters or should matter is the fact that their sleep was interrupted by the DSS, right?

      Reply to this comment
  3. Kome Ovo
    Kome Ovo October 09, 19:18

    Nobody said Judges can’t or shouldn’t be arrested but the mode and manner is a problem. Do a simple google search on those cases discussed above and you’d see that it wasn’t a purge on the American Judiciary and they followed procedures set up by Judicial Commissions of Inquiry in those states where such crimes were committed.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Thr Boss
    Thr Boss October 09, 21:21

    I am ashamed that a press house will come out with such trashy analogy. Last time I checked, the US and the Federal Republic operate on different constitutions. Don’t get it twisted, Nigerians aren’t supporting the corrupt judges. If the DSS have any incriminating evidence, it should be presented to the NJC as the law stipulates and not go about barging into peoples home in the dead of the night as of they are coup plotters. Why am I surprised? The same DSS invaded Akwa Ibom State government’s house. They also invaded the Ekiti State house of assembly. And now they are kidnapping judges in the middle of the night? I won’t be surprised when they invade press houses like the Cable and by then there would be nobody to caution the executive.
    A wiseman always cautioned me ‘You may be right about your case, but the way you go about it may make your right turn wrong’.

    Reply to this comment
  5. ppp
    ppp October 09, 22:33

    You should please make your research very well before misleading Nigerians. You already mentioned some facts and rules the FBI used in arresting those Judges like wire tap, video etc. The FBI even invited the Judges for questioning. Please note that for FBI to carry out any operation(s), it takes nothing less than 5 years to gather their proves and evidence. Is that the same in Nigeria? It is bad, really bad for Nigeria. FBI will not do any operation without due process. DSS is not even empowered by law to take up corruptions. Why not allow NJC to handle the issue? This will not help Nigeria grow. Government cannot always win in court. But it seems Buhari thinks otherwise.

    Reply to this comment
    • soul
      soul October 10, 08:37

      NJC or what! Do you know how many glaring cases of corruption the NJC investigated and found true! and what were the punishments to the corrupt judges? – retirement. It means, sorry we couldn’t cover you as this was too glaring, go and enjoy your loot. If the NJC had been alive to its responsibilities, DSS action would have been unnecessary.

      Reply to this comment
  6. sggig
    sggig October 10, 05:52

    The truth about this issue is that everybody is right in his/her own opinion. You all know why? Nigeria has a flawed constitution which is nt clearly defined and has so many contradictions in itself, the country’s institutions as well has flawed roles that sometimes you wonder

    Reply to this comment
  7. Koko
    Koko October 10, 06:12

    Its so disappointing wen reading some comments, must we always get a defence 4 dos accused of corruption.
    D 1st issue is its established u nid a search warrant 2 search a house however d fact dat d DSS didnt obtain a seatch warrant made d search unlawful however it doesnt make d evidence of d large sum of money inadmissible nd d evidence is enof 4 dem 2 be arrested at any time without an arrest warrant.pls lets stop with d word “kidnapping”.
    Moreover, for DSS 2 obtain a search warrant ,its must be issued by a judge nd in a Nigeria d possibility of d judge would v tipped off d corcerned justice nd judges r high.
    2nd issue of reporting 2 dem 2 d NJC instead of arrest is so off point. Pls s corruption not a crime in Nigeria. The NJC does not v prosecutary power 2 procute crime,it just exercises a disciplinary power ova judges Sec 292. D immunity clause doesnt even apply 2 judges.dey r not above d law.let dem prove deir innocence in court. Though dey shld be granted bail but dey must be prosecuted in court.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Pompeii
    Pompeii October 10, 08:17

    Nigerians you na matter they tire person.

    At first their complain was that they are southerners, when that didn’t hold they said they are Xtains, later they said the NJC (or whatsoever) should be responsible for the handling of matters with judges and not the DSS.
    Ok now we have a replica the problem they are saying is WHY SHOULD IT BE BY 1AM?
    How dumb can ppl be and still breath????

    Reply to this comment
  9. dedongenius
    dedongenius October 10, 13:36

    in this case let the deep calls unto the deep….. let the darkness call unto the darkness and let the light call unto the light. it is time to wakeup and rebuild this great Nation. let us fight corruption whether by hook or by crook in as much as it is corruption charges. aren’t you glad that some Nigerians has gain the resolved to face corrupt authorities who had all this while arms twisted this Nation and steered it the wrong direction? we must all support the fight against corruption except you are corrupt your selves. all I care is that the DSS is sending a very strong message to all twisted minded fellows at the helm of affairs who led our land captive . NO MAN IS ABOVE THE LAW! if u are corrupt u have every right to be afraid and speak against the DSS but if you are upright fear not for our land shall be delivered shortly because WE ARE ALL WE HAVE TO DEFEND AND REBUILD THIS GREAT NATION AND SECURE THE FUTURE OF THE TOMORROW’S CHILD. ARISE NIGERIA……….. ITS WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION NOT JUDGES BUT CORRUPT JUDGES . THEY ARE PEOPLE ENTRUSTED WITH TRUTHS BUT THEY HAVE DEMEAN ITS TRUE ORACLE. NOW LET JUSTICE CATCH UP WITH THEM AND HAVE ITS FULL CAUSE . A WORD FOR THE WISE. I JUST WANT TO MAKE A COMMON SENSE. GOD BLESS THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Mekus
    Mekus October 10, 16:56

    So, only Nigerian presidents with military background can call the bluff of Nigerian corrupt elites!Immagine the story we are hearing now, even before arraignment of the suspects. And their professional colleagues are already issuing intimidating ultimatums. When the President complained that his problem in fighting corruption was the judiciary some Nigerians in characteris tic hipocricy wanted us to believe the President made an overstatement.
    Let us wait for the events to unfold;whether the matter is technically, politically, or legally gestapo inclined , we shall see. For me, our President is on course with the anti-corruption crusade as the panacea for restructuring this country.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Emmanuella
    Emmanuella October 10, 20:15

    So because America dey allow slamming of black people on concrete,killing of blacks every hour,so make our police do the same bah?,You sense small so teh..

    Reply to this comment
  12. Sanity
    Sanity October 12, 09:36

    Nobody is above the law so let the judges face their colleagues in court like any other citizen.

    Reply to this comment
  13. saythe truth
    saythe truth October 15, 08:16

    Your comment..will the DSS ever got any proof of corruption against the judges if they should followed the Nigerian pattern of due process entrenched in the controversial constitution as it always being misinterpreted by our almighty leaned people ?

    Reply to this comment
  14. Eagle eye
    Eagle eye October 16, 17:39

    Well, I can see everyone calling for the heads of the so called corrupt judges. I want to draw our attention to some few facts. 1. We still have a constitution operational in this nation and that document is sacrosanct as well as the grund norm. We should ask ourselves what the position of the constitution is in such matters. 2. What is the role and function of the NJC? 3. Why is the corruption fight lopsided with people like Fashola, Ameachi, Tinubu, Obasanjo and Oshomole to mention a few waxing strong and talking tough. 4. Come to think of it, who is free from the corruption virus? How did Buhari, the self aclaimed apostle of anti corruption wringled himself out of the school cert. saga. Till date we are still to see PMB’s shool cert. He lied to Nigerians, yet he is above board.
    I want corruption to be nipped in the bud, but what is unacceptable to me is when people want to score cheap popularity and ride on the intelligence of the populace to orchestrate personal vendetta.

    Reply to this comment

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