By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
~Says Justice Walter Onoghen not under Investigation
~Explains how Wike Aided Escape of Port Harcourt Judge
The Department of State Security Services (DSS) has refuted media report that it invaded in a gestapo-like homes of some Judges on Saturday morning without recourse to constituted laws of the land.In a statement signed by one Abdullahi Garba on behalf of DSS a copy of which was obtained by Blackface News, DSS said its visits to the houses of the affected judges were aimed at getting rid of corruption from the judiciary arm of government.
The Nigerian Secret Police said its personnel swung into action after several petitions were submitted against the affected Judges.
DSS also refuted media report that the target of the operation was the incoming Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onoghen.
Disputing the Media report that its personnel sent decency into dustbin during the raid, DSS said its personnel conducted themselves with due diligence and sanity all through the time the operations lasted except at Port Harcourt, Rivers State where the state Governor, Nyesome Wike mobilized his supporters against the service.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) in the past few days, has embarked on series of special sting operations involving some Judges of the Supreme, Appeal and High Courts. These operations were based on allegations of corruptions and other acts of professional misconduct by a few of the suspected Judges. The Service action is in line with its core mandate, as we have been monitoring the expensive and luxurious lifestyle of some of the Judges as well as complaints from the concerned public over judgment obtained fraudulently and on the basis amounts of money paid.
“The judges involved were invited, upon which due diligence was exhibited and their premises searched. The searches have uncovered huge raw cash of various denominations, local and foreign currencies, with real estate worth several millions of Naira and documents affirming unholy acts by these Judges. Meanwhile, some of them have made useful statements while a few have declined even with the glaring evidences that were found against them in terms of material cash, documents and property recovered pointing to their compromise.
“In one of the States where the Service operations were conducted, credible intelligence revealed that the Judge had Two Million United States Dollars ($2,000,000 USD) stashed in his house. When he was approached for due search to be conducted, he in concert with the State Governor, mobilized thugs against the Service team. The team restrained itself in the face of unbridled provocative activities by those brought in by the Governor. Unfortunately, the Judge and Governor also engaged the tacit support of a sister security agency.
“The Service surveillance team noticed that upon frustrating the operation, the Judge with the active support of the Governor craftily moved the money to an unknown location which the Service is currently making effort to unravel.
“Meanwhile, large amount including foreign/local currencies have been recovered. Summaries of these include:
SUMMARY OF RECOVERED MONEY
1. NAIRA – N93,558,000.00
2. DOLLARS – $530,087
3. POUNDS – £25,970
4. EURO – €5,680
“Other foreign currencies were also recovered. This were recovered from just three (3) of the judges.
“These in addition to other banking documents, including real estate documents have been recovered. Meanwhile preparations are ongoing to arraign them in a competent court of jurisdiction in line with the laws of the nation.
“The Service would want to clearly state that it has never invited Justice Walter NKANU ONNOGHEN for investigation, neither is he being investigated by this Service. In addition the Service would like to put it on record, that it has tremendous respect for the Judiciary and would not do anything to undermine it or its activities. The Service will also join hands with this noble institution in its fight to rid it of few corrupt Judges whose actions is undermining not only the Judiciary but the common bond of our national life.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this current operation will be sustained and followed till sanity and sanctity is restored to the esteemed third arm of government and public confidence is regained.
“Members of the public are also encouraged to avail the Service of any information which could assist in this drive to rid our nation of corrupt practices and tendencies.” DSS said.
Blackface News recalls that the DSS at the early hour of today invaded the residents of two judges of Supreme Court and five High Court judges in a gestapo-like and whisked them away for questioning and interrogation.