Nigeria vows to jail corrupt judges, seize stolen assets

Nigeria’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, said in Lagos on Tuesday that judges found to have corruptly enriched themselves would be prosecuted, jailed and would lose to the state any asset they acquired with such stolen funds. Mr. Malami, who was the special guest at the launch of a report by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) titled, “Go home and sin no more: Corrupt judges escaping from justice in Nigeria”, said judges should be beyond reproach.

“Considering the pivotal role that they play in the administration of justice, it is important to ensure that Nigerian judges, like the proverbial Caesar’s wife, are beyond reproach or even suspicion. Gone are the days when corrupt judges escaped from justice in Nigeria!”

“I can assure you today that 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,” he said. The minister was represented at the launch by his senior special assistant, Abiodun Aikomo.

He added that the Buhari administration would not tolerate judicial impunity and would do everything within the law to ensure that judicial accountability in “a corruption-free judiciary which is both independent and impartial”.

“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,” he said. source

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