N400bn Bribe: UNODC-NBS Report Subjective, Speculative – NJC

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By Kunle Olasanmi, Abuja

The National Judicial council, NJC, has condemned the report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) in conjunction with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) alleging that N400 billion was paid as bribe to public official in the last one year?.

In the report,  Nigerian judges were said to be the second highest bribe takers after the police.

According to a statement by the director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, the NJC finds the allegation, unfortunate,  subjective and speculative.

Oye said, “The Judiciary finds the conclusion of the organisations not only subjective but speculative.

“There is no denial of the fact that there are few bad eggs in the judiciary, like in every other arm of Government; at the same time, there are many honest and hardworking Judicial Officers and Magistrates making the Judiciary and the country proud.

“The question that should agitate the minds of the people is the criteria used by the UNODC and the NBS to measure the level of bribe taking in the Judiciary to grade it as the second largest receiver of bribe. For instance, what is the percentage of Judges caught receiving bribe out of a total number of One Thousand and Fifty-Nine Judges in both the Federal and State Judiciaries?

“What is the percentage of Magistrates caught taking bribe from an estimated total number of Four Thousand (4,000) in the country?

“How many Judges or Magistrates have been arrested and/or prosecuted and convicted of corruption till date to deduce such conclusions?

“One then wonders the criteria used by the organisations to arrive at the conclusion. It should be noted that the Judiciary is the only arm of Government that has been investigating its Judicial Officers and dealt appropriately with those found guilty by dismissal or removal from office, subject to approval for such recommendation from the President or the Governor of a State as the case may be, and publish such in electronic and print media for the consumption of the public.”