By Wasiu Popoola
The seven judges arrested by the Department of State Services between October 7 and 8 on allegations of corruption have been asked to stop reporting to the agency’s office in Abuja untill further notice.
It was learnt that the DSS had, as part of the bail conditions, granted the seven judges on October 9, asked them to report to its office in Abuja on a daily basis for the ongoing investigation.
One of the arrested judges said the DSS officials on Tuesday asked all the affected judges to stop reporting till further notice.
The judge said, “We have been reporting at their office everyday since they granted us bail on October 9. They told us to stop coming to their offices till further notice. “They said they would call us whenever they needed our attention.”
The DSS had, in what it called “sting operations” between October 7 and 8 arrested Justices Sylvester Ngwuta and John Okoro of the Supreme Court; Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, and Justice Muazu Pindiga of the Federal High Court, Gombe Division.
Others who were arrested had been placed on suspension by the NJC pending when President Muhammadu Buhari and their various state governors would approve its recommendation for their sacking.
They were a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike, the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Tsamiya; and judge of the Kano State High Court, Justice Kabiru Auta.
Meanwhile, Justice Adeniyi Ademola has also withdrawn from further sittings pending when he would finish trashing the allegations against him. Sources close to him confirmed on Tuesday that Justice Ademola decided to take his cue from Justices Ngwuta and Okoro, who had earlier taken such decision.
But unlike the two Justices of the Supreme Court who had been going to work but not participating in the proceedings of the apex court, Justice Ademola had been consistently sitting after he was released by the DSS.
The source said, “With the example laid down by the Supreme Court Justices, the judge had no choice other than to withdraw. “We understand that the Supreme Court Justices wrote to the CJN about their decision to withdraw from further sittings, but Justice Ademola did not.
“He also did not receive any official communication from either the CJN or the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of the National Judicial Council asking him to stop sitting.”
It was reported on Monday that Justices Ngwuta and Okoro had voluntarily withdrawn from further participating in the proceedings of the apex court.