One of the Supreme Court judges, whose home was invaded by the Department of State Services, DSS, penultimate weekend, Justice John Inyang Okoro, has alleged that his travail in the hands of the operatives was in connection with alleged desire of the Presidency and All Progressives Congress, APC, to win at all cost, election appeals in Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Abia states.
He also said the $24,000 and £10,000 recovered in his house by the operatives was balance of the estacode he received on foreign trips for three years.
This came as indications emerged, last night, that a female judge of the Federal High Court might be arrested for allegedly shunning an invitation to appear before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to be questioned on alleged corrupt practices in the discharge of her duties.
Also yesterday, one of the embattled Judges, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, said he would no longer preside over the criminal charge the Federal Government preferred against the detained former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd.
Justice Okoro, in a letter written to the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of National Judicial Council, NJC, Justice Mohammed Mahmoud, dated October 17, 2016, said the recovered money was exclusive of those he received from international conferences attended since he joined the Supreme Court three years ago.
Reason for the raid
“My Lord, I strongly believe that this my travail is not unconnected with the verbal report I made to you on 1st February, 2016 about the visit to my official residence by His Excellency, Rotimi Amaechi, former Governor of Rivers State and now Minister of Transportation.
“In that report, I told you My Lord, that Mr. Amaechi said that the President of Nigeria and the All Progressives Congress mandated him to inform me that they must win their election Appeals in respect of Rivers State, Akwa Ibom State and Abia State at all costs.
“For Akwa Ibom State, he alleged that he sponsored Mr. Umana Umana, candidate of All Progressives Congress for that election and that if he lost Akwa Ibom appeal, he would have lost a fortune. Mr. Amaechi also said that he had already visited you and that you had agreed to make me a member of the panel that would hear the appeals.
“He further told me that Mr. Umana would be paying me millions of Naira monthly if I co-operated with them. My response, as I told you on that date, was that it does not lie within my power to grant his request and that I would do all within my power not to be in the panel for Akwa Ibom State. My Lord graciously left me out of the panel for Akwa Ibom State.
“That notwithstanding, the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State, which lost the appeal at the Supreme Court, believe that my presence in the Supreme Couirt made them to lose the appeal. Could I have resigned from the Supreme Court simply because people of Akwa Ibom State had a matter before it?
“My Lord will recall that I also reported that Mr. Umana Umana visited my residence before Amaechi’s visit. He also made the same request of assistance to win his appeal at the Supreme Court.
“Mr. Umana talked about “seeing” the Justices who would hear the appeal. Pastor (Dr) Ebebe Ukpong, who led Mr. Umana Umana to my house, intercepted and said that the issue of “seeing” the Justices was not part of their visit and that as a pastor, he would not be part of such a discussion. Mr. Umana apologised. I advised them to go and pray about the matter and get a good lawyer. That was how they left my house.
“My Lord, up till now, I do not know what I have done. Over the years, from the Magistracy till date, I have done my best to eschew all forms of corrupt practices. I have not received any bribe from anybody.
“My Lord is quite aware of my position as regards those who take bribe in the judiciary. I detest it and have no room for any adjustment. That is the truth.
“I urge my Lord and the National Judicial Council to disregard all the lies and media campaign orchestrated by those who felt I purposely refused to help them win their election appeals in the Supreme Court.
“I am confident that God will vindicate me at the end of this ordeal. I take it as a temporary set-back. I remain loyal to my oath of office and the need to be just and fair in handling matters before me.”
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