Speaking on the issue, yesterday, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee againmst Corruption, Prof Itse Sagay, SAN, said: “It is a major development in our legal history, it is unusual.
Where do you think such money (N360m) came from? And if such huge sum of money can illegitimately be in the house of judges, then what is this system we are operating? Can one get justice in such a situation? This is what is troubling my mind. I have always said that judges deserve dignity and to be treated with utmost respect; that is what I will call reverence and it has always been so.
“In a situation where there is such degeneration in a society, that has now spread to the judiciary that is normally treated with sanctity and reverence, what is to be done? When you have a god that you are worshipping and the god brings himself down to your level, then what it is saying is that you should stop worshipping him and you should treat him like any other person. That is the phenomenon we are dealing with. “Respect for judges is based on their conduct, record and attitude.
When that conduct fails, then they have exposed themselves to the situation, which they are treated. Judges, according to the law, enjoy immunity against searches and arrests. In regard to how judges are treated, as people who are above god, people of the greatest moral authority, when that is gone and they are like you and me in conduct, scrambling for money and taking money from parties before their courts, in order to abuse their position, then the law applies to them as it applies to every other person.
NJC should not be condemned over the said money found in judges homes. NJC was not established to deal with the epidermic that is seen in the judiciary, in terms of judicial corruption. We are facing an epidermic. It means if you don’t have money you can never get justice. So I think there is a need to really introduce drastic measures to purify the system.’’