LAGOS, Nigeria — A series of raids were carried out in an operation targeting judges accused of corruption by operatives of Department of State Services (DSS), a Nigerian intelligence unit, in collaboration with the police, during the night of Friday 7 October, continuing on the morning of Saturday 8 October.
Four ranking Supreme Court justices, Adeniyi Ademola; Nnamdi Dimgba; Sylvester Ngwuta; and Walter Onnoghen, had their homes raided.
Others were tracked on allegation of bribe-taking. According to a DSS source, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, who has been presiding on the alleged trial of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms by Colonel Sambo Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser under then-president, Goodluck Jonathan, had his residence raided because of suspicious funds found in his bank account.
These raids are coming after three judges were dismissed during the week on grounds of fraud and judicial misconduct upon recommendation by National Judicial Commission, the country’s judiciary regulatory body.
The arrest of one judge who resides in Rivers State, southern Nigeria, was aborted by the effort of the state administrator, Governor Nyesom Wike, who arrived at the location around 1am, with the aid of information relayed to him by one of the state security operatives.
Speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, in the immediate aftermath of the invasion on the residence of Justice Onnoghen, Governor Nyesom Wike stated: “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 honor 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.”
(Reporting by Adedayo Osho; Editing by Dejan Scepanovic & Robyn Hunter)