The Department of State Services says it recovered over N270m from the houses of the judges it raided late on Friday and in the early hours of Saturday.
The agency said this on Saturday, while explaining the reason for its widely-criticised raid, during which over four judges were arrested.
The DSS said N93,558,000.00; $530,087; £25,970; and €5,680 (a total of over N270m) were recovered from three of the judges affected in the raid, which the agency described as a follow up to the outcome of a “special sting operation”.
The agency, however, accused a judge in Rivers State of hiding $2m, vowing that it would recover the cash.
A senior officer of the security agency, Mr. Abdullahi Garba, who spoke with journalists in Abuja on Saturday, insisted that the action would be sustained.
Garba said, “The DSS 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 judgments obtained fraudulently and on the basis 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 (sums) of various denominations, local and foreign currencies, with real estate worth several millions of naira and documents affirming unholy acts by these judges.”
While saying some of the judges had made useful statements on the allegations against them, he added that a few of them declined.
He added that in one of the states where the operations were conducted, intelligence report indicated that a judge had the sum of $2m in his house.
Garba said, “When he was approached for due search to be conducted, he in concert with the state governor mobilised thugs against the DSS team.
“The team restrained itself in the face of unbridled provocative activities by those brought in by the governor. Unfortunately, the judge and the 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 DSS is currently making efforts to unravel.”
Garba further declared that the current operation would be sustained and followed “till sanity and sanctity are restored to the esteemed third arm of government and public confidence is regained.” He refused to take questions after the briefing.
The Nigerian Bar Association, however, condemned the actions of the agency, declared a state of emergency, and demanded the unconditional release of the judges arrested.
The NBA made it position in Lagos at a news briefing addressed by its president alongside four past presidents – Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Mr. J.B. Daudu (SAN), and Augustine Alegeh (SAN).
NBA President, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), said two Supreme Court justices, Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta, were “abducted”, stressing that it was not the responsibility of the DSS to arrest judges.
“We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately caution all the state security agencies and to respect the rule of law and follow due process,” he said.
“On any issue affecting the judicial officers, there are established procedures for handling them and we demand that this constitutional process be obeyed.”
He added, “Given the unfolding nature of the event and the seriousness of the situation, the NBA hereby declares a state of emergency as it affects the affairs of the judiciary and I hereby constitute a crisis management team, comprising all past presidents of the association.
“I want to, on behalf of the association, make the very following clear and unequivocal demands: we demand the immediate and unconditional release of all the judges abducted from about 9 pm yesterday (Friday).
“The release must be done immediately and without any conditions. Two, we demand that the Department of State Services limit itself to its statutory and constitutional responsibilities. I’ll be meeting with the CJN later tonight or tomorrow. There will be consequences if these demands are not met.”
25 out of 1900 escaped prisoners return to Correctional Centre in Edo
No fewer than 25 out of the 1900 inmates who escaped from the Sapele Road and Oko Correctional Centres in Benin City, Edo State have returned to prison.
This comes after the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki issued an ultimatum for the escapees to return to the correctional centre or face the full wrath of the law.
Information Nigeria recalls that on October 19, hoodlums masquerading as #EndSARS protesters stormed the two prisons and freed inmates.
ThisDay reported that an official of the Sapele Road Correctional Centre who disclosed this, further revealed that one of the escapees had been recaptured after he was shot in the leg last Wednesday.
It was further gathered that two out of the 25 inmates who returned were inmates at the Oko Medium Correctional Centre along Airport Road, Benin.
“The Department of State Security, the police and officials of the Nigerian Correctional Services will soon commence a manhunt for the runaway inmates immediately after a seven-day grace the state government gave them has elapsed.
“We have a way of arresting runway prisoners. We will swing into action once the protest calms down nationwide. The earlier they return on their own, the better for them.
“Those who are rearrested will be retried and sentenced to extra seven years if convicted. So, it is in their own interest to return as the governor has given them extra one week of grace to do so.”
Nigerian Lawyer, Adegboruwa reacts to Fashola’s ‘discovery’ of camera at Lekki tollgate
Ebun Adegboruwa, Nigeria lawyer has reacted to the discovery of a hidden camera at Lekki tollgate by Nigeria’s minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola.
Member of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into the activities of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Adegboruwa said Mr Fashola has illegally tampered with exhibits.
The senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN made this known in a statement on Monday titled, ‘Usurpation of powers of the panel of inquiry on SARS abuses’.
Adegboruwa who stated that it is illegal for anyone to conduct any visit to the said Lekki Toll Plaza in the absence of and without the authority and consent of the Panel, appealed to the Governor of Lagos State to allow the Panel the full autonomy and independence that was promised at the time of inauguration.
The statement read;
“BRF TAMPERS WITH EVIDENCE
AT LEKKI TOLL GATE ..RETRIEVES HIDDEN CAMERA WITHOUT PANEL’S CONSENT….”
USURPATION OF POWERS OF THE PANEL OF INQUIRY ON SARS ABUSES
On Sunday, October 25, 2020, it was widely publicized that Ministers and Governors of the South-West visited the Governor of Lagos State on a sympathy tour of structures affected by the wanton looting and destruction that took place last week. In the course of their visit, they were led to the Lekki Toll Plaza, to assess the situation thereat. It was at the same Lekki Toll Plaza that the incident of alleged shooting of EndSARS protesters was said to have taken place. And based on public outcry, the Governor of Lagos State added the Lekki Toll Plaza incident to the terms of reference of the Judicial Panel that was set up.
Since the Panel has been vested with jurisdiction over the Lekki Toll Plaza, I verily believe that it is illegal for anyone else to conduct any visit to the said Lekki Toll Plaza in the absence of and without the authority and consent of the Panel. It was reported that in the course of the visit, the former governor of Lagos State and the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, discovered a hidden camera, which he took. This is a clear case of illegally tampering with exhibits that may become useful to the Panel in the course of its assignment.
I appeal to the Governor of Lagos State to allow the Panel the full autonomy and independence that was promised at the time of inauguration. It is contempt of the Panel for anyone to usurp the powers of the Panel in the way that has been reported. In this regard, the Panel will not shy away from summoning anyone who is alleged to be involved in any contemptuous act that may obstruct the course of justice.
I call on all Nigerians to come up with their complaints before the Panel for proper ventilation, as it begins its sitting today.
Child Traffickers Nabbed In Anambra (Video)
Two child traffickers who kidnapped and sold a child for N920,000 have been nabbed in Anambra state.
In a video that has since gone viral, the suspects confessed on how they lured and sold the child after been grilled.
The male suspect said he was paid 400, 000 Naira to kidnap the child from his home and hand him over to the female suspect, who in turn sold the child.
The woman, who was nabbed in Awomama, said the people she sold the child to gave her a total of 920,000 Naira – 520k for her and 400k for the man.
Fortunately, the child was rescued after the female child trafficker was nabbed and she led them to the people she sold the child to.
Confronting both child traffickers, those present searched the woman’s bag and they found treats like biscuits she uses to lure kids. They also found charm together with the packs of biscuit.
The woman said she used to own a restaurant in Umuebuke, Uli, before she began child trafficking.
Watch the video below:
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