Thursday, November 3

FG Files Charges Against Supreme Court’s Chief Registrar, Two Others

FG Files Charges Against Supreme Court’s Chief Registrar, Two Others

Saleh Gambo,

Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, has filed fraud charges against the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Saleh Gambo, the Assistant Director of Finance, Rilwanu Lawal, and the Deputy Director (Finance Department), Sharif Abdulrahman.

The prosecutor alleges that the three major administrative officers of Nigeria’s apex court colluded to divert more than N2.2 billion in funds meant for the Supreme Court. The three accused officers have also been named in a series of attempts to bribe Supreme Court justices. Investigators allege that the accused men sometimes collected bribes on behalf of justices assigned to politically prominent cases.

The court officials are yet to be formally arraigned in court, but source informed Thenigerialawyer that the charges were filed yesterday in Abuja. Our sources at the Ministry of Justice disclosed that the formal charges did not indicate any roles played by the three accused judicial officers in the ongoing probe of Supreme Court justices allegedly involved in acts of corruption.

Last month, agents of the Department of State Services (DSS), which is Nigeria’s secret police, raided the homes of several judges, including two Supreme Court justices. The DSS alleged that huge sums of foreign and local currencies were discovered and seized from the homes of the judges. Investigators believe the cash came from bribes the judges received in order to subvert the cause of justice.

Since the much-publicized raids and arrests, the investigators have not been able to arraign the judges for any particular offense. A source at the Attorney General’s office told our correspondent that the failure to arraign the judges arose from what he called shoddy investigation by DSS agents.

The source added that President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to take over the cases and to carry out more thorough investigations of the accused judges.

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