Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has asked members of the legal profession to blame themselves for the harassment of judges by the security agencies.
While asking that the judges arrested on Saturday ought to be granted bail and charged to court directly, he said the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) had been shielding corrupt members of the bar and also the bench.
In a statement he issued on Sunday evening, he wrote: “It is a matter of grave concern that the legal profession has allowed the denigration of the sacred temple of justice as a result of the misconduct of some corrupt judges.
“For several years, judges who committed grave criminal offences were not prosecuted but merely retired by the authorities on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council. Though the National Judicial Council recently recommended the prosecution and dismissal of a judge for extorting the sum of N197 million from a litigant the authorities had paid mere lip service to the menace of judicial corruption in the country.
“In particular, the Nigerian Bar Association which has information on all corrupt judges and lawyers in the country has continued to defend them to the embarrassment of incorruptible members of the bar and also the bench. The few lawyers who have plucked up the bravery to expose corrupt judges and lawyers have been stigmatised and treated like lepers by their colleagues.”