A judge allegedly begged the Department of State Service (DSS) boss, Mr. Lawan Daura, when confronted with evidence that he got more than N500million bribe. He was captured on camera.
The judge refused to unlock the safe in his house for DSS operatives to have access to its contents, a source said. DSS plans to take possession of the safe to uncover its contents.
Another judge was said to have obtained a loan from a bank to execute a contract in Bauchi State and when he defaulted, the bank filed a suit against him at the Federal High Court in Bauchi.
Also, it was learnt that most of the judges against whom the DSS launched sting operations at the weekend had been under “painstaking investigation” in the last one year.
According to The Nation, the DSS had started questioning some bank chiefs and directors implicated in money laundering and huge bribery scandal.
But, amid more revelations on the corruption in the Judiciary, DSS intensified the grilling of seven detained judges.
A source said: “Corruption in the Judiciary was based on our intelligence gathering and alerts from informants and petitions. It is not based on the perception of Nigerians. We have been on the trail of some of these judges in the last few months.
“For instance, we started probing one of the seven judges in detention since the Ramadan period of 2015. When we got sufficient intelligence on him, bordering on over N500m bribe, we invited him.
“The judge was given a copy of our report on him. By the time he read it halfway, he prostrated, held the legs of the security chief and begged for forgiveness. We captured the way he was reeling on the floor.
“We later sent a security brief on him to the National Judicial Council with enough evidence. But he was cleared by the NJC as having committed no wrong. Since the NJC could not do the needful, we have decided to subject him to a judicial process.
“We also have a case of one of the judges who refused to unlock a safe in his house when operatives went to his house. We may actually secure the leave of the court to relocate the safe to Abuja.”
“We are digging more and getting fresh revelations from these judges. For instance, a Federal High Court judge in detention actually spread the N54million and $171,779 recovered from his residence in different rooms. He kept them in different parts of the rooms like a thief.”
Apparently referring to the criticisms against the sting operations, the source said: “Some individuals have been bigger than Nigeria. If you are looking for one or two, go to the Judiciary.
“Nothing unusual about the arrest of judges other than it has not been the practice. It is normal. Once a petition is lodged, it is normal that you just have to look into it as a security agency.”