Nigeria detains judges, seizes assets in graft probe
Nigeria’s secret police seized hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and assets in a series of anti-corruption raids targeting senior judges, drawing sharp condemnation on Sunday from the bar association and rights groups.
During the nationwide operation, which took place on Saturday, police also detained several judges although the number was not exactly clear.
The raids prompted the Nigerian Bar Association to declare a state of emergency, denouncing the “Gestapo-style” operation. In a statement, the Department of States Services (DSS) said it had seized US $ 800,000 (715,000 euros) in cash during the operation which was launched on the basis of “allegations of corruption and professional misconduct” by a number of judges.
“The searches have uncovered huge raw cash of various denominations, local and foreign currencies, with real estate worth several millions of naira and documents affirming unholy acts by these judges,” it said.
Bar Association head Abubakar Mahmoud lashed out at Buhari over the raids.
“We are not under military rule and we cannot accept this unholy event and Gestapo-style operation,” he told reporters. And a human rights and anti-corruption group urged Buhari to ensure the judges’ “immediate and unconditional release”.