Buhari Unhappy With Poor Evidence on Judges, Orders DSS to Hand Over Case to EFCC
Unhappy with the shoddy, poor and unprofessional intelligence gathering by the State Security Services (SSS) on judges accused of corruption, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) takes over the matter.
Sahara Reporters reports that the decision is said to have followed weeks of reviewing the evidence assembled by DSS, as well as the statements made by the judges involved. The president is said to be insisting that the investigations must be more professionally handled.
Sources told the online media that the review of the case files, the delay in filing charges against the judges, and the shoddiness of the performance of DSS gave some of the judges the opportunity to start recanting their statements and twisting the facts of their cases.
A Presidency source said the President, as well as the office of the Vice-President which also reviewed the cases, decided that multi-agency collaboration was needed to strengthen the cases before they go to court.
The DSS was initially mandated to work with the EFCC to do thorough investigations before a raid was carried out, but due to intra-agency rivalry, the DSS refused to hand over case information to the EFCC and hid their plans from the anti-corruption agency, preferring to work with the Nigeria police.
President Buhari has now ordered the DSS to work with the EFCC and ensure that future investigations are properly done.
This pattern of presidential control and interference with the operations of security and anti-corruption agencies investigating allegations of corruption in the Judiciary, one of the arms of the Nigerian government has raised fresh concerns about the principles of rule of law and separation of powers in Nigeria’s democracy under the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Civil society groups, the media, senior legal practitioners, the National Assembly and the National Judicial Council (NJC) have condemned the DSS raid on judges describing it as a violation of the principles that hold Nigeria’s democracy together.