A probe of seven judges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has commenced, according to a report Tuesday by an online medium, Sahara Reporters.
Five judges of the Federal High Court were named to be among those being investigated for alleged corruption, according to the report. The affected judges are Justices Abdul Kafarati, Gladys Olotu, Aliyu Liman, Ibironke Harrison and Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.
The other two judges mentioned in the report are Justice Chioma Nwosu- Iheme of the Court of Appeal and a former Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Inumidun Akande, who are under investigation for corruption.
The case file, according to a source, revealed that Justice Kafarati owns huge cash assets in several bank accounts and he reportedly owns property, shares and farmlands in Kwami in Gombe State.
Justice Olotu is being investigated for owning several accounts in many local banks and in the United Kingdom as well as significant stock in various companies. She is also reported to own several property in Abuja, Lagos and Benin.
A source said Justice Olotu is believed to be worth more than N2 billion in cash, going by findings by EFCC and other investigators.
Justice Liman, on his part, is being investigated for owning various naira and domiciliary accounts, shares and property in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Kaduna States.
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia reportedly owns an apartment in London, with an expensive Mercedes Benz car parked on the property for her use whenever she visits the UK.
According to EFCC sources, Justice Iheme-Nwosu has accumulated so much unexplained wealth that she was able to buy the Concorde Hotel in Owerri, the Imo State capital, as well as a mansion-like residence built near Concorde Hotel which was reportedly worth N500 million.
Investigation of Justice Harrison also showed that she was allegedly involved in a property fraud said to be worth at least N150 million.
A source revealed that the fraud was detected before she was made a judge, adding that her involvement in the illicit scheme had been established to a high degree of certainty.
“We are confident that we can make a case for her guilt beyond any reasonable doubt,” a judicial source said.
Retired Justice Akande is being accused of diverting funds meant for the Lagos judiciary during her tenure as chief judge.
She is also accused of enriching herself to the tune of N700 million from the state judiciary.
A senior EFCC official said the investigations into the criminal conduct of all the judges targeted for probe had either been concluded or reached advanced stages.
However, the source added that the commission’s chair, Ibrahim Lamorde, was hesitant in approving the commencement of prosecution.
“I can tell you that we are at the stage where we can charge the affected judges to court, but the Chairman of the EFCC Ibrahim Lamorde has not given us a go-ahead for the judges to be arrested and charged for corruption,” the source said.