Legal practitioner Muyiwa Sobo says one’s lifestyle, regardless of how extravagant it is, is not proof of corruption.
He said this while responding to suggestions that the judiciary may not be cooperating with the Federal Government’s anti-graft war.
Recalling the instance of the raid on judges in October 2016, Mr Sobo who was against the action of the Department of State Services, explained that when a raid is conducted outside the provisions of the law, the cases cannot be prosecuted successfully.
He said, “When you conducted those raids outside of what is normal within the law, you cannot expect to win those cases. I think it was one of the government officials who came and said, ‘We have been watching these people and we are going after them because of their lifestyle’. Lifestyle is not proof. That is why I said those cases will not go far, those judges will be acquitted.
He said this while speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, days after six of the eight judges, whose homes were raided, were recalled by the National Judicial Council (NJC) after being suspended from carrying out their judicial duties.
“The judiciary has a job to do, to adjudicate, rule on cases – there is no co-operation that is required in that. If the government or the prosecutor brings in an iron-clad case, you have credible witnesses, you have evidence that can be admissible in front of the court, what the court would do is look at those things and issue a judgement.
“You don’t go into court and expect the court to rule on your behalf because you expect the judge to cooperate,” the lawyer added.
Furthermore, he stressed that there is a difference between the judiciary cooperating and the judiciary being corrupt.
“If you think the judiciary is corrupt then do something about the corruption but don’t base your cases on the fact that the judiciary is corrupt. It’s not all judges that are corrupt, by the way, and when you talk about judicial corruption, you have to hold people accountable, you have to show examples.
“Do due diligence in presenting your case, prosecute your case.
“I was reading in the newspapers this morning where the representative of the EFCC was saying our job is to investigate and charge people to court. No, you don’t have to stop there, you have to prosecute and you have to prosecute vigorously, presenting all the evidence – And in doing so, you have to think of the rights of the accused as well.”
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