UPDATED: SSS releases detained judges as NJC meets

SSS Nigeria

The State Security Service on Monday released all the judges arrested during a nationwide anti-corruption sweep between Friday and Saturday, PREMIUM TIMES can report.

The SSS had between Friday Night and early Saturday conducted what it described as a “sting operation,” which culminated in the arrest of seven judges across six states.

Supreme Court judges, Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta, were arrested in Abuja. Federal High Court judges, Adeniyi Ademola and Mohammed Tsamiya, were also arrested in Abuja.

Others arrested included Kabir Auta, Kano; Muazu Pindiga, Gombe; and Innocent Umezulike in Enugu.

The operatives were also involved in a botched attempt to arrest another judge in Port Harcourt.

Security sources in the agency said all the seven judges were released on self-recognizance while agents prepare charges for their arraignment.

“They were all released on bail yesterday (Sunday) on self-recognition,” one of our sources said. “They reported this morning (Monday) and they have all gone back home. They will be coming back tomorrow. And everything went very procedurally well and civil.

Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed; Photo: Mahmud Mohammed
Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed; Photo: Mahmud Mohammed

“They were released on bail on self-recognition based on the fact that given their standing in the society, they cannot run away. They were instructed that they should come back today by 10:00 a.m.

“They did report for investigation this morning and they have gone back home. And the investigation continues and preparation to charge them to court.”

The development dashed expectations that the judges would be charged to court as stated by the SSS following their arrest.

Dozens of spectators, including reporters and lawyers, were camped outside a  Chief Magistrate’s Court in Life Camp, Abuja, where the judges were expected to be arraigned.

Adegboyega Awomolo, a Senior advocate of Nigeria, was amongst those who remained in the court premises until 4:00 p.m. when judicial workers closed for the day.

The SSS in a statement Saturday said the nocturnal operation yielded recoveries of huge sums of money denominated in different currencies, including the U.S. dollars, euros and British pounds, which it intended to use as evidence when charging the judges.

Opinions remained divided in the wake of the unprecedented crackdown.

While many argued that the SSS had no powers to conduct such a large-scale operation against an independent arm of government; others alleged pervasive corruption on the part of judges and justified the crackdown.

SSS sources also blamed a “lack of cooperation by the National Judicial Council, such as refusal by the NJC to allow the affected persons to be questioned by the DSS.”

Investigation started some seven months ago, precisely in April 2016, a source said.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, on Monday condemned the raids and said the NJC will meet on Tuesday to give a formal position on the actions of the SSS.‎

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  • DX Papa

    President Muhamadu Buhari,
    is administratively speaking, a joke. He orders that Ministry officials rush
    to court and charge Bukola Saraki. He gets applause for filing the case, then
    what? Nothing happens from the prosecution – absolutely nothing! Three months
    later, President Buhari ordered the counsel for the prosecution to withdraw the
    filed charges. Why that?

    The latest official explanation today, after all previous daft reasons
    were tendered and rejected by the public, is that the prosecution omitted
    or forgot to let the Police firstly interrogate Bukola Saraki so as to obtain a
    written statement to be attached to the charges, as required by Nigeria’s
    Administrative Justice Act.

    That’s an ad hoc way of doing things by rule of thumb. Others would call
    it sheer administrative incompetence coming from a president who appointed
    seven (7) lawyers – including jurisprudents and criminologists as Presidential
    Advisory Committee. The same blunder of thought may be playing out here again.

    • Lanre

      Thank you. You appear to be the only one who understands that Buhari is just on a vindictive mission here. We understand he just wants to prevent the emergence of a Southerner, Justice Onoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

  • Henry

    Who take responsible for the repairs of those doors pulled from the wall


      Good question——Aisha Bingo Buhari of Halliburton fame——they have carpenters also for the USA

  • dudu

    Though painful, I admit that I owe well meaning Nigerians who believe the President to be incompetent an apology. I have officially given up on this administration for its carelessness on many frontiers. PMB cannot eat his cake and have it. Its not possible for him to be on the side of the masses and the ruling class at the same time. I thought Buhari will be our Kwan Yew. was mistaken I admit.

  • B. Messi

    Monkey don wear iron pant.

    *@PT, whose interest are you serving by deleting my comments? We can’t all be part of the APC gullible brigade can we??

  • share Idea

    Please can someone tell me how Nigerian public that have a case against this administration in a court presided by this accused judges will have confidence that the judges will not partially.

    Imagine, when a judge will be visiting DSS office for interrogation while presiding over cases against FG? Nigeria we hail thee

  • George

    Warning to Tinubu;

    For those that are still asleep and
    that refuse to recognise the fact that there is a problem in this country
    kindly consider the following. 30 per cent of the oil reserves and 40 per cent
    of the gas reserves in our country are in Bayelsa state. Nigeria has become
    relatively rich as a consequence of this and up until one year four months ago
    our economy was booming. The oil of the people of the Niger Delta appears to be
    good enough for Nigeria yet the people of the Niger Delta do not appear to be
    worthy of anything as far as Nigeria is concerned.

    After railroading the only Niger
    Deltan President in our history out of power in a rigged election after just
    one term and then coming after his family, friends and political associates
    with everything that they have got, the new powers that be refused to stop
    there. They went further by doing their best to rig the governorship election
    in his state but they failed as a consequence of the sheer doggedness and
    fortitude of Seriake Dickson, the Governor of the state and the defiant and
    gallant fighting spirit of the people. Yet in an attempt to pay them back for
    their stubborn streak the President decided to prove to the whole world that
    Bayelsa, the state that lays the golden egg for the whole nation, was not
    worthy of even one member of the Board of Directors of NNPC or even one out of
    the 44 Ambassadors that were recently appointed by him.

    On all counts Bayelsa was left out.
    Is that fair? Is it justice? Is it equity? I must acknowledge the fact that I
    was furnished with these interesting facts by the Secretary to the Bayelsa
    State Government, His Royal Highness Barrister David Serena-Dokubo Spiff, and
    having cross-checked them they have proved to be accurate and true. This sort
    of treatment that has been meted to Bayelsa state goes across the board in all
    the states of both the south-south and the south-eastern zones of our country.
    The story is the same in both regions: it is one of marginalisation and

    And for some of Yoruba kinsmen to believe that
    it will not eventually be applied to them too is the height of naivety. With
    the attempted demystification of Tinubu the process has already started and we
    better sit up and learn fast. When your neighbours house is being set on fire
    by the marauding barbarians and invaders do not gloat because it is only a
    matter of time before it reaches your house.

  • Lere

    I am waiting for a day when DSS or EFCC will perform ‘Sting Operation’s in Aso Rock Villa. They might find some new foreign currency their that can help salvage our moribund economy.

  • abdul dull daura

    Just wandering if some judges decide to write petition and bring back the certificate issue? The one without a pass in mathematics is the most irrational leader ever.

  • Burning Spear

    BUHARI IS A NATIONAL DISGRACE——-HE CANNOT BE RE-BRANDED NO MATTER HOW THE YORUBAS ATTEMPT TO WHITE WASH HIM–THE MAN IS TOO FILTHY–TO BE CALLED PRESIDENT OF THE FULANI EMIRATE———————————–imagine buhari make fun of MEND that has often supported his government————–the man is not ok upstairs–army should remove him now—so that we can have some rest