Operatives of the Department of State Security Services in the early hours of Saturday, laid siege to homes of some Supreme Court Judges.
The overnight raid which was carried carried out simultaneously in Abuja, Sokoto, Port Harcourt, Kano, Enugu and Gombe as explained by the Department, targeted judges who are believed to be corrupt. The Department stated in a statement which was later released to pressmen, said incriminating documents and huge sums of money were recovered, both in foreign and local currencies.
The official said: “These operations were based on allegations of corruptions and other practices acts of professional misconduct by a few of the suspected Judges.”
According to sources, the clampdown began in Gombe State where the SSS moved against Justice Muazu Pindiga, who served on the elections tribunal in Rivers State.
In Abuja, official quarters of Justices Sylvester Ngwuta and John Okoro of the Supreme Court were besieged by the SSS for several hours overnight. The operation continued into early Saturday morning.
Also in the capital, the SSS stormed the homes of Nnamdi Dimgba and Adeniyi Ademola, both of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, located inside the Apo Legislative Quarters.
Both judges are neighbours on Samuel Ogbemudia street of the Apo quarters.
However, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, prevented the DSS from ransacking the home of Justice Mohammed Liman of the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court.
The officers reportedly stormed the 35 Forces Avenue, home of the Judge in Port-Harcourt before the Governor showed up, to prevent them from gaining entry.
A statement by the Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Simeon Nwakaudu, said the operation was led by the Rivers State Director of SSS, Tosin Ajayi.
According to him: “Not under my watch wiĺl I allow this kind of impunity to take place. That is why we are here. I don’t know which judge they were detailed to abduct. I didn’t bother myself to know which judge. All I am interested in is that, at this level, it is not allowed.
“He is not a criminal and he is not an armed robber. If the person has committed an offence, invite him. It is only when he refuses to honour the invitation that you can adopt this commando style.
“The Commissioner of Police is here, the Director of DSS is here. Their operatives cocked their guns and threatened to shoot me. I have never seen that before. Again , this is to tell you what we are facing . We know that more will come. For us in this state, we shall continue to resist it.”
Governor Wike added: “It doesn’t matter what it will cost. When you talk about liberty, sacrifices must be made. We are not trying to stop an arrest. All we are saying is that things must be done decently and in line with the rule of law.
“Rivers State is under siege. For you to see a governor out at this time of the day, something is wrong. A siege is an understatement. If this type of thing happens next time, the people wiĺl resist it to the last”.
The governor stressed: “They are trying to do something funny in this state, probably to declare a state of emergency.
Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor,
8th October, 2016.
Meanwhile, the DSS has given a breakdown of the recovered funds as follows:
SUMMARY OF RECOVERED MONEY
1. NAIRA – N93,558,000.00
2. DOLLARS – $530,087
3. POUNDS – £25,970
4. EURO – €5,680
Although, the Nigerian Bar Association has called on its members to boycott court proceedings as protest to the clampdown, the DSS, it is understood is making effort to arraign the arrested Judges next week.