The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched a massive investigation into the activities of five high court judges who are living above their means and are said to engage in sharp practices, LEADERSHIP SUNDAY can authoritatively report.
Also, the associates of these judicial officers are being investigated by the anti-graft body. Our investigation revealed that two of the high court judges are sitting chief judges of their respective states.
A top source in the EFCC told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that investigations have confirmed that these high court judges were involved in massive corrupt practices running into billions of naira. They were also said to have acquired choice properties in Abuja and other cities, including in Europe.
Operatives of the anti-graft agency, it was also learnt, have run a check on the various bank accounts of the judges both in the country and abroad.
The source further revealed that the EFCC investigation "is almost concluded" as the judges will soon be prosecuted in court.
The new chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Alooma Mukthar, had severally decried corrupt practices in the judiciary, especially among judicial officers. She had vowed to stamp out the malaise.
In her recent address at the swearing in of 25 lawyers conferred with the title of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), the CJN had lamented that the judges were at the mercy of the state governors and sundry politicians because their welfare and infrastructure remained under the various state governments' control.
The prosecution of these five judges will be a departure from the disciplinary norm of the legal profession that endorses the trial of suspected judicial officers by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC).