EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde
In a fresh move to reinvigorate the anti-graft war in the country, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is beaming its searchlight on the judiciary and is at present closing in on five high court judges.
Inside sources at the EFCC head office in Abuja revealed to THISDAY that the judges believed to have engaged in serious corrupt practices are from federal and state courts. Two of them are said to be state Chief Judges.
They will soon be arrested along with their accomplices. The arrest could be as early as this week, THISDAY learnt.
It was learnt that useful information on the financial dealings of the judges in question have been obtained and would soon be made public.
But the EFCC sources refrained from disclosing the names of the judicial officers for fear that such may undermine ongoing investigation.
THISDAY learnt that the huge in-road believed to have been made to confront corruption in the judiciary has come after a long and thorough investigation in the sector.
Judiciary watchers told THISDAY in Abuja at the weekend that the development if well handled would be major breakthrough in the anti-graft battle because of the strategic place of the sector in the anti-graft crusade in the country.
Since the crusade against corrupt public officers in the country started, the focus has been on the other two arms of government, the executive and legislature.
The third arm of the government, the judiciary, has not been touched as such, although corruption in the sector is believed to have largely contributed to the slow pace of the anti-corruption battle.
Anti-graft bodies in the country like EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have severally accused the judiciary of dragging them back because of delays and often frivolous injunctions engendered in the handling of cases against allegedly corrupt public officers. A frustrated EFCC has canvassed the establishment of a separate court for the trial of corrupt persons but this has not succeeded.
But the judiciary has also accused EFCC and ICPC of doing shoddy job in their investigation before bringing cases to court.