DSS acted outside its mandate by arresting judges â€“ Melaye
The Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Dino Melaye on Sunday condemned the arrest and invasion of the residence of some Judges by theÂ Department of State Services, saying the agency acted outside its core mandate.
He said that although judges have no immunity and could be tried, the use of DSS by government was â€œabsolutely wrong and unacceptable.â€
The position of Melaye, representing Kogi West on the platform of the All Progressives Congress in the National Assembly, was contained in a statement he issued in Abuja.
He said, â€œI have studied the Act setting up DSS, Nigerian Intelligence Agency and DIA and can conclude that the DSS operatives went outside their core mandate.Â There is no doubt that many Judges are corrupt.
â€œIt is also important to state the need to sanitise the judiciary of corruption that make Judges not to give commercial rulings which create terrible precedence in our legal system. Judges have no immunity and can be tried and should be tried but the use of DSS is absolutely wrong.
â€œThe DSS operatives, even when they overstretched themselves and conducted investigations on the Judges, ought to hand over their findings to the appropriate institutions of government: the Police or National Judicial Council for prosecution and punishment.
â€œThe rule of law is a core value of governance and therefore must be guided jealousy. Prosecution of civil and corruption cases is not the responsibility of DSS. Internal security is the main duty of the DSS and they should stick to that. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.â€
Gun-wielding DSS and police operatives had on Friday night and in the early hours of Saturday swooped on the residences of senior judges, breaking doors and threatening to harm their family members and aides.
The judges affected in the raids carried outÂ in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Gombe StatesÂ are of the Supreme Court and Federal High Court.
At least two of the Justices were said to have recently ruled against the DSS and condemned its disregard of the laws of the land during its operations.
They arrested judges are Justice Sylvester Ngwuta (Supreme Court); Justice John Okoro (Supreme Court) and Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The DSS also searched the residence of another judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, but he was not arrested.
The DSS has however promised to continue the clampdown until all the corrupt judges in the system are exposed and tried in court.