INDEPENDENT Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has declared that Nigeria’s judiciary is the most corrupt arm of the government in the country.
ICPC stated that about N9,457,650,000 was offered and paid as bribes by lawyers, stressing that the judicial sector is currently on top of the Nigeria Corruption Index between 2018 and 2020.
In a survey carried out by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria, ACAN, the intellectual arm of the commission, six female judges were offered N3,307,444,000 while five male judges were offered N392,220,000.
These details were contained in a report, titled ‘Nigeria Corruption Index: Report of a pilot survey’, which was made available by the ICPC chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, in Abuja.
“Money involved in the high-level corruption in this sector was categorized into money demanded, offered, or paid. Demands are made by court officials including judges, while lawyers or litigants make bribery offers and payments.
“The total amount of money reported by the Justice sector respondents as corruptly demanded, offered and paid between 2018 and 2020 was N9,457, 650,000
“It (Nigeria Corruption Index) indicates that both the public and private sectors are complicit in the high corruption levels in Nigeria.
“Overall, the justice sector had the highest level of corruption with a score of 63. The level of corruption in the justice sector was heightened by stupendously high amounts of money offered as bribes to judges by lawyers handling high electoral and other political causes.
“A large percentage, 73 percent of justice sector respondents, did not experience a situation of outright demand or offer of a bribe. Nevertheless, it remains alarming that 16 percent of respondents had experienced such blatant demands or offers of bribes.
“Follow-up discussions indicated that the cases of outright demand and offer of bribes are mostly linked to election matters,” he said.