Should the Judges Accused of Corruption Step Aside?

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The ripples over the recent raid and arrest of some senior judges by the Department of State Security (DSS) over allegations of corruption are yet to abate, with various stakeholders adopting opposing positions on the fallout of the arrests. While some analysts are lambasting the DSS of trampling on the sanctity of the Judicial arm of government, others want the accused judges suspended and prosecuted by a special court to deter corruption. To you, should the accused judges step aside until proven either innocent or guilty, to set good examples in the war against corruption?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* This government has shown contempt for due process. The entire process lacks credibility. You don’t tell people to resign consequent on this kind of sham process. This kind of sting process will never sell in advanced countries so the question of resignation will not arise. If they resign it would create a dangerous precedent as the judiciary would have surrendered its independence to the executive.
– Mr. Moses Oddiri, Lagos

* That is a rhetorical question. The symbol of justice is a personality whose sight is covered: holding scale in one hand and sword in the other. Please interpret that.
– Mr. Wale Adelani, Abeokuta, Ogun State

* Yes, they must, out of necessity step aside now. The law is the law and it binds all bonafide citizens and sundry. Nobody should be above the law no matter who, what, when, where or why the condition. Judges must be Nigeria’s transparent hope but then any bad eggs must be punished to deter others. This is the norm in advanced countries. Let us save the judiciary from corruption to move us forward.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* A judge with any iota of dignity would step down until a proper investigation clears him/her! Sadly, we are not a nation known for such!
– Mr. Yommi Oni, Paris, France

* That is what is expected of them (judges) as the damage has been seriously done. Their lifestyle has proven what they are being accused of. Not only them, but also the Ministers and other government appointees who are hiding thinking that they are covered being in the ruling party, of any religion, should come out in repentance before God’s hammer falls on them. I don’t want to mention names, as the guilty are afraid.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* Without any gainsaying, you can’t be a defender and a judge of your own case! For the sake of transparency and accountability, they ought to step aside for thorough investigations. And let an investigative panel decide their fate either guilty or innocent. This is most applicable in other advanced countries.
– Mr. Ibrahim Adewale, Photojournalist, Lagos

* No one will step aside much more resign in righteous indignation; even when they are darkened with tar, they will remain because we are a country of people without shame. Then the hue and cry made by some Nigerians that their arrest is unconstitutional, I just wonder. These are people that will willingly participate in a mob action on a poor man who was caught stealing because he was hungry.
– Mr. Chris Iwenjora, Lagos

* Why is the Executive acting holier-than-thou and persecuting the other arms? The Vice-President said all arms are corrupt so who bells the cat? When Mr. President constituted his cabinet, petitions were written against some but they became ministers all the same. The accused judges have been asked to step aside but why? Is it the duty of the media to convict them?
– Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R. Associates, Apo, Abuja

* It should be the right thing to do but in Nigeria, stepping aside is rare.
– Miss Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* Ideally, not only the judges; Ministers or anybody so mentioned by the judges should be inclusive, since they are not covered by immunity. To allow fair hearing, an independent judiciary by retired judges should be appointed to try such cases for an unbiased judgment. Punitive measures should be meted out to those involved to serve as deterrent for those who may wish to emulate the looters. Nigerians and the international community are watching to see the outcome.
– Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* Let the corrupted judges face prosecution and jail for their ugly acts in determent of other judges who may engage in same act of collecting bribe before delivering judgment, Corruption must stop in the judiciary to move the nation forward. It has become an embarrassment to the nation.
– Mrs. Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State

* It has become an argument whether the accused judges should step aside because that is the norm for people accused not to step aside over their cases. My take is, it is wrong for people to preside over their own case.
– Mr. Okechukwu Ikonne, Mbaise, Imo State

* Yes, they should. All culpable judges must face the music and step aside in the interim for a neutral, impartial and professional verdict. The onus rests on them to prove themselves innocent of any indictment and all culprits must be punished especially after a fair hearing in an appropriate court of justice. Let us be honest, united and patriotic to move Nigeria forward. God bless Nigeria.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos

* Only God knows whether the judges are Bureau de Change agents where DSS discovered foreign currencies in their houses. DSS acted well on the judges over their bribes before delivering cases and this should be a lesson to other judges who are always engaged in collecting bribes. They must face prosecution and jail sentence if they are found guilty of corruption intake to deter other judges in future conduct.
– Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* Yes, the judges should step aside and let investigation and resultant justice take its course, to protect whatever is left of their integrity and dignity. DSS wouldn’t dare storm the house of a Supreme Court justice without valid and tangible proof. Although their approach smacks of Gestapo tactics, DSS has achieved the effect they desired, to beam the searchlight on a corrupt Bench. Their move was long overdue.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

* Whether they step aside or not is not going to make a difference because their cases will end up like every other high profile cases before theirs. Never ending, option of a small fine sentencing and a total waste of tax payers’ money. It is obvious that the type of justice system we have nurtured over the years is not one that can fight corruption. That is why currently plea bargain is the only option. None of the loot recovered so far is credited to any court in the land. Why this administration still believes in our judiciary to fight corruption the conventional way is a mystery to me.
– Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

THE FEEDBACK

They should step aside: 10
No, they shouldn’t: 1
Others: 5
Radical tip: Jail them!
Total no of respondents: 16
Male: 13
Female: 3
Highest location: Lagos (8)

Next Week: What is Nigeria’s Current Top Devt Obstacle?

Several things had earlier been identified as serious impediments to the growth and development of Nigeria as a country with Africa’s largest population. Among them were corruption, insincere leadership, selfish elites, weak policy implementation, absence of basic infrastructure, insurgency, citizens’ apathy, low agricultural and even food insecurity. A lot has happened in the last year since the current administration came into power, but what is your biggest obstacle to Nigeria’s development process and how can it be successfully resolved?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (November 3 & Monday, November 7) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, November 10