Sagay: One of the judges recalled by NJC is a constant solicitor of money

Itse Sagay, chairman of the presidential advisory committee against corruption (PACAC), has said one of the judges recalled by the National Judiciary Council (NJC) constantly solicits money from lawyers.

The senior advocate of Nigeria lamented the spate of corruption among judges, whom he says often seek gratification.

The law professor also criticised the federal government’s approach to the anti-corruption war.

Sagay urged the presidency to return to the drawing board to peruse the constitution for ways to “firmly” deal with the scourge of corruption.

He made his position known on Saturday while speaking in Abuja at a programme organised by the National Association of Seadogs.

“The Federal Government, particularly the President and Vice-President, who were elected into office principally to eliminate corruption, must go back to their drawing board, search and scan the constitution and other laws to draw the requisite irresistible power to deal firmly with this terrible scourge of our times – otherwise we are all dead,” PUNCH quotes him as saying.

“Today, some judges actually solicit for money. They don’t even wait to be offered money. One of the judges that has been asked by the NJC to go back to work is a constant solicitor of money. He writes to counsel, ‘my mother died yesterday, I need money to bury her.’

“Two months later, ‘my daughter is getting married next month, I need money to organise a wedding: Another month, the same judge will write, ‘my uncle has just been made a chief and I need to make a contribution, send money.’

“This is written to lawyers and the lawyers gladly contribute. In fact, there is a long list of lawyers now who have to go to the EFCC at least once a month to explain why they had to send so much money to the account of one judge or the other who demanded money.

“Some lawyers do it out of a sense of obligation while some lawyers do it for consideration of future favours. It just shows you how (low) our judges have sunk.”