Charles Omole, an author and Director-General of the Institute of Police and Security Policy Research (IPSPR), says over 60 per cent of senior judges in Nigeria are cultists.
He said this while he was discussing the factors causing corruption in the judicial system of the country.
“I can confidently say over 60% of the senior Judges I have met belong to one cult or another in Nigeria. Many used this cult membership to progress their legal careers, others joined to seek protection from spiritual attacks common to Judges
“The problem is; once you join these cults, you have to favour fellow members who have cases before you in return for the ‘protection’ they offer. I will not like to say more about this at this stage,” he said.
INSIGHT INTO JUDICIAL CORRUPTION Issues surrounding corruption in the Judiciary in Nigeria has been a matter of concern for many for a long time & I will like to shed some light on what is going on. As a Judge, I have many friends in the Nigerian Judiciary at all levels…THREAD
Money, according to him, is the popular method of buying judgments in Nigeria. He however said this was prevalent in lower courts, saying the Magistrate and High courts are the most guilty.
“Magistrates are paid daily by corrupt police officers to issue all manner of warrants and judicial decisions that taints the rule of law. Litigants also bribe these judges all the time. High court judges collect bribe to rig cases daily (I will explain how they do this later).
“While the Appeal & Supreme court Justices are also bribed; this is not the dominant way to buy judgment at that level. Not many can afford the level of money needed to bribe them; & many of the Judges are already wealthy in their own right…so other methods are used,” he said.
Omole said blackmail was also used against the judges. He said a judge he had met recently was threatened with a video of himself having sex with a mistress in a hotel.
“Many judges in Nigeria are being blackmailed into bending their judgments especially at the High & Appeal court levels in the States and federal courts. This method is usually used after a judge has refused money inducement offered by litigants. Blackmail comes in diff forms,” he tweeted.
He also said spiritual attacks had forced many judges to do the bidding of some individuals after themselves or loved ones had been struck by strange illnesses.
Omole further exposed how judges show favour in rulings.
“Evidence denial. Admissibility of evidence although governed by rules is also a major area for judicial discretion. Judges have lots of power to reject or admit evidence.
“If there is a video of Mr A killing Mr B; if that video is admitted as evidence, the hands of the Judge is tied by law in the fact that a GUILTY verdict has to be given to Mr A. So an induced Judge will simply find a technicality & refuse to admit d video in evidence. Case closed
“So, a lot of cases fail due to “lack of evidence”. This is the most regular way corrupt Judges use to throw cases. Of course, a corrupt Judge will also admit as evidence what he should procedurally reject if that favours his inducer.
“Unreasonable adjournments. When you hear a case has been adjourned 25times over a certain number of years, just know that something is wrong. It is not uncommon for a case to be on the books and been adjourned repeatedly over 6yrs and the case has not even started yet.
“This is one of the ways, corrupt judicial officers show favour if the evidence against their sponsor is too strong to ignore. Are there honest Judges? YES there are. But they are in the minority sadly. Those not normally corrupt are being blackmailed. This is a serious problem,” he said.
He stated that apart from judges, administrative staff also possessed the power to meddle in the course of justice.
“There is massive corruption through administrative misconducts by clerks, registrars and admin staff in courts all over Nigeria. These are mainly financially induced to hide files, backdate cases, lose files & evidence etc.
“I was told by a lawyer in 2018 of how he had a client whose case was out of time based on the Statues of Limitation. This chap simply went to the High court, bribed the clerk and the case was filed and stamped with a backdated date of 2014 to keep the case “in date” & justiciable
“This happens daily all over Nigeria. Admin staff are bribed to destroy files and hide papers to slow down cases for many years. Other than the recent intro of electronic filling my the Supreme court, our courts are still mainly paper-based. And papers go missing all the time,” he said in a tweet.
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