Lawyers gave N9.4bn bribes to judges in 3 years –ICPC

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A survey by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences has found that an estimated N9.4bn bribes exchanged hands the judicial sector between 2018 and 2020.

The report said the level corruption the justice sector was heightened by the “stupendously high amounts money offered as bribes to by lawyers handling high and political cases.”

The 84-page survey titled, ‘Nigeria Corruption Index: Report a pilot survey 2020’, disclosed that the private sector ranked next to the judicial sector corruption levels, noting that the graft private business sector contributed greatly to the level of corruption.

It explained that the methodology was experienced-based rather perception-related questions of corruption, as measured a scale of 0 to 100, 0 representing “Absolutely not corrupt and 100 indicating “Absolutely Corrupt.”

Of the 901 respondents in the justice sector, 638 making 70.81 per cent were lawyers. were 124 or 13.76 per cent, and 25 respondents at 2.77 per cent were staff (clerks and registers).

The report stated that 9.9 per cent of lawyers admitted paying N5.7b bribes in connection to mostly cases they were handling.

The survey added that about 78 of the 901 justice sector respondents reported experiencing offers or payment of bribes to influence the judicial process.

It stated, “The money involved in the high-level corruption in this sector was categorised into money demanded, offered or paid. Demands are made by officials, including , while bribery offers and payment are made by lawyers and litigants.

“The total amount of money reported by the justice sector respondents as corruptly demanded, offered and paid between 2018 and 2020 was N9.457b.”

The report also found that 55.2 per cent of private experienced diversion of contract to personal , adding 8 per cent of reported paying dues into private accounts.

It disclosed that the executive and legislative sectors had overall corruption scores of 42 and 41 respectively, noting that in monetary terms, the executive a score of 33 had a higher level of corruption the legislative sector which had a score of 27.