This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Monday, October 10, 2016
PRESS RELEASE: ARREST OF JUDGES: NO ROOM FOR SACRED COWS
10th October, 2016,
ARREST OF JUDGES: NO
ROOM FOR SACRED COWS
Men of the Department of State Services (DSS) recently
raided the homes of some Nigerian judges. Huge amounts of foreign and local
currencies were seized and about seven judges are still in detention. The
Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) consequently issued a warning to boycott courts
unless the judges are set free.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) welcomes the action taken
by the Federal Government to curb corruption in the judiciary. Recent
revelations have shown that judges collude with criminals and corrupt
politicians to thwart efforts aimed at reducing the rate of crime and
corruption. The judiciary as the last hope of the common man must be above
board. Therefore the bad eggs must be dealt with.
We are deeply disturbed by the reaction of the NBA. Is this
body telling us that judges are sacred cows? Are they above the law? Must we
fold our arms while Nigerian judges corruptly enrich themselves and justice is
made available only to the rich?
NBA must look around the world and tell us where judges are
allowed to get away with dirty deals. India, China and Ghana are good examples.
867 Indian judges were arrested and punished for corrupt practices in 2011. Two
other judges were arrested in India in 2014 for collecting money to settle
cases in favour of the givers.
Just last year 2015, Xi Xiaoming, vice president of the
Supreme People's Court of China was arrested for receiving money from
litigants. China’s lawyers did not pull down the Chinese sky. But in Nigeria,
NBA wants us to rain praises on corrupt judges.
In Ghana, about 34 judges were recently charged for
corruption. Twenty of them were dismissed on December 8, 2015. Ghanaians did
not celebrate the corrupt judges.
But in Nigeria, all hell is let loose each time somebody
from our religion or tribe is facing corruption charges. The focus this time is
quite saddening coming from a much revered profession, the law itself.
How on earth do Nigerians think corruption can be
eliminated or reduced if we always want to defend the indefensible once he has
the slightest affiliation to us? Or is it ghosts that have been stealing our
money? The thief must belong somewhere. He will either be a Muslim, a Christian,
a politician or a judge.
Our duty as a serious people is to leave the thief alone.
Allow the anti-graft agents to do their job. It is disgusting that NBA has
abused due process. They know the law. They know that a man (or a judge?) is
assumed innocent until he is proved guilty. This has been a gospel preached by
their members all over the place. Does it mean they don’t mean it?
Is it because the knife is now turned inwards? But this
same knife has been used by lawyers and judges to cut millions of necks. Why is
it that they now realize it is too sharp?
MURIC appeals to the NBA and all other stakeholders to
allow justice to take its due course. We all pledged unalloyed support to the
Federal Government’s war against corruption. Lets clean the Augean stable
without let or hinderance. The time to do it is now.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)