The Chief Registrar of the court, Mr Ahmed Saleh, Muhammed Sharif and Rilwanu Lawal are also accused of receiving gratifications totalling 74.4 million Naira from private contractors providing services to the Supreme Court between 2009 and 2016.
Mr Saleh is among persons shortlisted for final consideration by the National Judicial Council to succeed the outgoing Secretary of the council, Mr Danladi Halilu.
The date of their arraignment has not been fixed, but they will be facing nine counts of conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by allegedly diverting 2.2 billion belonging to the apex court and receiving gratification as public officers.
The Attorney General of the Federation filed the charges before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama on Thursday.
According to the charges, they were alleged to have received gratification from Willysdave Limited, Welcon Nigeria Limited, Dean Musa Nigeria Limited, Ababia Ventures Limited and MBR Computers Limited.
The alleged acts are contrary to section 315 of the Penal Code Act and punishable under the same section, by diverting the sum of N2.2bn belonging to the Supreme Court.
The accused persons allegedly deposited same into personal accounts with a Nigerian bank.
They allegedly conspired among themselves contrary to Section 96 of the Penal Code Act 2004 and punishable under Section 97 of the same Act to commit the illegal act of diverting the 2.2 billion Naira belonging to the apex court.
The prosecution alleged in counts three to nine that the accused, between 2009 and 2016, received gratification of 10 million Naira from Willysdave Limited, eight million Naira (in two tranches of six million Naira and two million Naira) from Welcon Nigeria Limited, 2.4 million Naira; 16 million Naira from Dean Musa Nigeria Limited; 19 million Naira from Ababia Ventures Limited and 21 million Naira from MBR Computers.
The offences of taking gratification by public officers are said to be contrary to Section 10 (a) (i) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission Act 2000 and are punishable under the same section of the Act.
Arrest Of Some Judges
The charges filed are coming weeks after the homes of some judges were raided, with some of them arrested by security operatives on allegations of corruption and misconduct.
This came on the same day the National Judicial Council (NJC) barred judges who are under investigation for various offences from sitting until the cases against them are concluded.
The decision of the NJC was contained in a statement on Thursday by its spokesman, Mr Soji Oye.
The Council explained in the statement “that Judicial Officers shall not be standing trial for alleged corruption related offences and be performing judicial functions at the same time”.
The decision, taken at its 79th meeting, appears to be a U-turn from its earlier position on the alleged corruption case against the judges.
Some of the judges are those arrested few weeks ago by operatives of the DSS over allegation of corruption and misconduct.
The NJC had resisted the call for the affected judges to be suspended, saying “that position breaches the 2014 revised judicial discipline regulations formulated by NJC pursuant to section 160 of the 1999 constitution”.
Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) was one of the major groups demanding that the judges under investigation should proceed on compulsory leave until their innocence is fully and completely established or until the conclusion of all judicial or disciplinary proceedings.