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Crackdown" On Judicial Officers - Separating The Law From Sentiments By Inibehe Effiong

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The State Security Service (SSS) embarked on an unprecedented "crackdown" on allegedly corrupt judicial officers across the country over the weekend. Among the judicial officers whose houses were searched and thereafter arrested and detained are two Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria; Justices Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro.As expected, the action has polarised lawyers, commentators, the media, civil society and the public. Differing views have been expressed on the constitutionality or otherwise of the steps and procedures adopted by the SSS. Sadly, the public has been deprived of opinions that are rooted in law owing largely to the belligerent and sentimental posturing and aggressive grandstanding that has impaired commentaries on the issues in controversy.My task in this essay is simply to offer a legal opinion on the following four issues: First, are judicial officers in Nigeria immune from the criminal justice system?; Second, is it mandatory for security agenc…