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At the wake of the mixed reactions trailing the arrest of seven Judges, the Department of State Security Service, DSS, has reneged on its earlier plan to release incriminating evidence against the Judges.
Post-Nigeria, gathered that this latest decision was taken, in order not to prejudice the subsequent trial.
The Presidency is insisting that two Supreme Court Justices, and four others, must step aside, ahead of their trial for alleged corruption, it was learnt last night.
It also faulted the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Mahmud Mohammed’s claim, that the Judiciary had issues with the DSS, and not the Federal Government.
However, the National Judicial Council, NJC, has refused to suspend six of the Judges because, according to the Judicial Agency, the DSS is yet to submit petitions and evidence against them.
The government however, said the Judges must step aside, to clear their names, instead of facing trial while on the bench.
Recall, that out of the nine Judges, the NJC has recommended sanctions for Justice Tsamiya, Justice Umezulike, and Justice Kabiru Auta.
A top government source, who spoke in confidence to the Nation Newspaper said: “The government has made its position known to the CJN. On why the Judges should step aside ahead of their trial. The government will not yield ground on this.
“If we go ahead to arraign them in court, the same CJN and NJC, will accuse the government of desecrating the Judiciary. The right step now, is to allow the Judges to face trial, and clear the allegations against them.
“It is unfortunate that what the CJN told the government on how to handle the case of the Judges, was different from the statement he issued.
“We are suspecting that the CJN might be under pressure from his colleagues, or he wants to leave the fate of the Judges to his successor.
“He cannot rationalise by making a distinction between the Federal Government and the DSS. The government was in support of the sting operations of the security agency. So, the DSS did not act unilaterally.



“We will not take up issues with the CJN, because the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, some former Supreme Court Justices, and the Body of Benchers, have supported the position of the government, that the Judges should step aside.”
The source added: “Some of the Judges in their letters to the CJN, admitted having huge cash at home, as if their houses are banks. In some jurisdictions, no Judge can have up to $5,000 dollars at hand.
“We have a case of a Judge, who had never withdrawn a kobo from his salary account. How does he feed? Yet, the CJN was put into confidence on some of these issues, at a meeting with some government officials. In what other way can the government respect the Judiciary?”
A security source said: “With the suspicious manner the NJC threw away some cases/petitions against some Judges, the DSS cannot take such a risk, to make all its evidence available to the body.
“Take the case of a Judge, who was implicated in a N500 million bribery, the Petition Review Committee of the NJC, cleared him. This is a Judge who admitted on tape to have collected bribe.
“It took some persistence by a petitioner, before the NJC could accept to sanction the Chief Judge of Enugu State. He was retired after about four petitions against him.
“Another Judge accused of demanding N200 million, was retired by the NJC, when the law is explicit on what should be done.
“To give evidence to the NJC, will amount to prejudging the Judges. The DSS conducted sting operations in some Judges quarters; it believes the law should take its course through trial.
“Once the evidence are made available to the NJC, the trial of the Judges will suffer a setback from the outset, because they will know what the government has against them.”

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