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Temper flares in judiciary over NBS corruption survey



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The National Judicial Council has protested the result of the NBS survey that shows that the judiciary is the second most corrupt institution in Nigeria.
The survey, conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics, with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, named the police as No 1.
Prevalence of bribery among prosecutors was put at 33.6 per cent, and judges/magistrates at 31.5 per cent.
Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen, however, said the report as speculative.
“There is no denial of the fact that there are few bad eggs in the Judiciary, like in every other arm of Government; at the same time, there are many honest and hardworking Judicial Officers and Magistrates making the Judiciary and the country proud,” Onnoghen said in a statement signed by its director of information, Soji Oye.
“The question that should agitate the minds of the people is the criteria used by the UNODC and the NBS to measure the level of bribe taking in the Judiciary to grade it as the second largest receiver of bribe. For instance, what is the percentage of judges caught receiving bribe out of a total number of One Thousand and Fifty-Nine Judges in both the Federal and State Judiciaries?
“What is the percentage of magistrates caught taking bribe from an estimated total number of Four Thousand (4,000) in the country? the NJC queried.
The NJC further said the number of judges prosecuted for bribery related offenses should have also been stated in the processes that resulted to the compilation of the report.
The NJC added that the judiciary is the only arm of government that investigates and disciplines it’s officials, and that the council has made several recommendations for dismissal of judges found culpable following investigations into allegations of crime.
“Members of the general public are also aware that the NJC has been recommending judges found guilty of corrupt practices to the appropriate security agencies for prosecution,; he said.
According to the statement, it is unfortunate that this orchestrated allegation is coming at a time the current CJN is making frantic efforts to stamp out corruption, restructure the judiciary.
“The Judiciary calls on the general public to disregard the aforestated allegation as it is untrue, baseless, unfounded and a figment of the agencies’ imagination.
“The National Judicial Council as usual calls on members of the public to forward written petitions against any Judicial Officer found soliciting or receiving bribes or otherwise engaging in conducts unbecoming of a Judicial Officer to the National Judicial Council for appropriate action.”