By Jessica Dogo
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and instruct the Department of State Service (DSS) to unconditionally release the judges arrested.
The Project made the call in a statement issued by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, made available in Abuja on Sunday.
He stated that “the DSS should end the intimidation and harassment of the judiciary.”
He noted that Justice Sylvester Ngwuta and Justice John Okoro, both of the Supreme Court, were arrested after a raid in their homes in
Abuja by DSS early on Saturday.
He said Justice Adeniyi Ademola of Federal High Court in Abuja was also arrested by DSS operatives after breaking into his official residence
also on Saturday.
He stated that “there are also reports of invasion of houses and harassment of judges of Federal High Court in Abuja, Gombe and Port Harcourt.
“The official residence of another judge of Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, was also searched.
“We are seriously concerned about the wave of arrests, intimidation and harassment of judges across the country by the DSS.
“What the DSS has done is a blow to the independence of judiciary, and a dangerous precedent that should not be allowed to stand,” the SERAP boss stated.
He emphasised that while SERAP was fully in support of government’s efforts to eradicate judicial corruption, “we cannot accept methods which patently offend the rule of law and undermine the authority, integrity, sanctity and independence of the judiciary.”