- Professor Itse Sagay did not leave out senior lawyers who allegedly corrupted the judges to influence judgements
- The constitutional lawyer lamented that judges have thrown honour and integrity into the waste bin
The chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, has revealed that judges who brought shame to Nigeria must face the punishment.
Sagay also said the same fate awaited civil servants found to be corrupt adding that this would bring sanity to the system.
Some judges and Senior Advocates of Nigeria are currently facing corruption trial after they were raided by security forces.
Sagay maintained that those who shamelessly approach judges and introduce them to culture of corruption deserve harsh punishment.
The constitutional lawyer spoke in Benin, the capital of Edo state on Monday, May 8, 2017, at the 2017 annual Law Week of the Nigeria Bar Association, Edo state Branch.
In a paper titled: ‘Corruption in the judiciary; the disciplinary role of the NJC vis-à-vis law enforcement agencies’, Prof Sagay reportedly said judges are supposed to have honour, integrity and high moral authority.
“No one ever expected judges to throw caution, rectitude, honour, justice and the credibility of the judiciary to the winds by selling his judgment.
“This is the destructive culture brought about by election petitions which has spread like epidemic through our formerly hallowed judicial system.
“The disciplinary procedures of the NJC were not set up for such crime.
“That is why tragically we are now experiencing judges being tried in court like common criminals.
“That is why the anti-corruption and security agencies have taken it upon themselves to continue from where the NJC’s authority ends.
“The bottom line is that judges enjoy no immunity from investigation, arrest, trial and conviction,” he said as reported by The Nation.
Professor Sagay went further: “In order to restore the authority, power and dignity of the judiciary, we must go through extra ordinary painful process of punishing those who have brought same and obliging to that sacred institution.
“Lawyers should be treated like accomplice after the fact because they share in the proceeds of the crimes of politically exposed persons..
"And once paid from that stained loot, it becomes their life’s struggle to protect and shield the primary criminals from the consequences of their crime.”
Watch this video as Nigerians speak about corrupt leaders in the country: