Supreme Court Judge accuses Amaechi, APC of attempt to manipulate judgement

Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi

Another Nigerian judge caught in the State Security Service crackdown on senior judicial officers has written to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, stating how the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, allegedly tried to manipulate him.

Inyang Okoro, a Supreme Court judge, whose home in Abuja was amongst those raided by masked SSS operatives on October 7 and 8, said security agencies came after him because he turned down pressure to help influence the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling on Akwa Ibom gubernatorial election.

In a letter dated October 17, 2016, and addressed directly to Mr. Mohammed, Mr. Okoro said operatives lured him to open his gate late at night using President Buhari’s name.

“On Friday, October 7, 2016, at about 9:00 p.m., I received a phone call from an unfamiliar caller. He introduced himself as an official from the presidency.

“He told me he had a letter for me from Mr. President. I immediately left my study room and went to open the door. Upon the door being opened, I saw so many heavily armed men with an inscription “DSS” on their uniform. One of them who was in mufti told me they were to search my house.

“I requested that I be allowed to inform the Chief Justice of Nigeria but they rebuffed, rather, they seized my phone from me,” Mr. Okoro said.

The letter, first published by, is the latest in the emerging fallout of the SSS raid, which was conducted between late Friday, October 7, and early Saturday, October 8.

The raid saw scores of SSS operatives swoope on the premises of the judges arresting some of them.

The move, which the SSS described as a ‘sting operation’ in a statement, was conducted in Abuja, Enugu, Gombe, Kano and Port-Harcourt.

Seven allegedly corrupt judges were arrested in the raids while attempts to arrest more were frustrated.

Mr. Okoro’s letter came a few days after his junior colleague, Adeniyi Ademola, wrote a similar one that was also addressed to Mr. Mohammed.

In his, Mr. Ademola blamed the Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, for his own ordeal and said the SSS operatives frightened him with their firearms.

After narrating the initial tactics of the officer, Mr. Okoro went on to detail the items taken from his premises which he said included a unit of iPad, three phones, $38,800, N3.5 million and four chequebooks.

He said he signed the items declaration form presented to him by the SSS after the raid. Unlike Mr. Ademola, he did not say he was forced to sign at gunpoint.

Mr. Okoro, however, said the operatives refused his appeal to allow him sleep in his home and visit their office in the morning, adding that the guns they were holding also made it difficult for him to argue with them.

Mr. Okoro said they asked him to explain the source of funds found in his home.

“I told them that having received the sum of $24,000 and £10,000 a year for the past three years of my sojourn in this court as annual medical and vacation allowances. And having spent more than £5,000 on each of the three trips I have so far made abroad, I was entitled to have more than the amount recovered from me.

“Put differently, my Lord, the money was the balance of my estacode received from this court for the past three years.”

Mr. Okoro said all the money was quite outside the estacodes he had received for the international conferences he attended since joining the Supreme Court.

He told Mr. Mohammed that up till when he was writing his letter on October 17, exactly 10 days after the raid, the SSS has not confronted him with any petition or complaint from any quarters.

“Rather, they have grilled me asking questions on some non-existing properties around the country. They have also doubted the age of my children alleging that they are toddlers,” Mr. Okoro said. “This is sad and unbelievable.”

Specifically, Mr. Okoro accused Mr. Amaechi of being behind his ordeal.

The senior jurist recounted how Mr. Amaechi allegedly visited him in the run-up to the Supreme Court decision on the appeal about the outcome of the Akwa Ibom governorship poll in 2015.

The election pitted incumbent Emmanuel Udom of the Peoples Democratic Party against Umana Umana of the All Progressives Congress, who also allegedly visited the judge.

Mr. Udom won the election held on April 11, 2015, and the Supreme Court upheld it on February 3.

Mr. Okoro said the outcome would have been different if Mr. Amaechi had had his way.

The judge said he strongly believed that this his travail is not unconnected with a verbal report he had informed the Chief Justice about on February 1, 2016, to the effect that Mr. Amaechi visited his official residence.

Mr. Okoro said Mr. Amaechi approached him and said the president of Nigeria and the APC sent him to plead with the judge that they must win their election appeals in respect of Rivers State, Akwa Ibom State and Abia State at all costs.

“For Akwa Ibom State, he alleged that he sponsored Umana Umana, the candidate of APC for that election and that if he lost, Akwa Ibom appeal, he would have lost a fortune,” Mr. Okoro said.

“Mr. Amaechi also said that he had already visited you and that you had agreed to make me a member of the panel that would hear the appeals. He further told me that Mr. Umana would be paying me millions of naira monthly if I cooperated with them.

“Mr response, as I told you on that date, was that it does not lie within my power to grant his request and I would do all within my power not to be in the panel for Akwa Ibom State. My Lord, graciously left me out of the panel for Akwa Ibom State,” Mr. Okoro said.

But Mr. Amaechi flatly denied the allegations on Wednesday night.

In a message to PREMIUM TIMES by his media adviser, David Iyofor, Mr. Amaechi said Mr. Okoro’s allegations against him were baseless and spurious. He threatened to take legal action against the judge.

“This accusation from Justice Okoro against Amaechi is a figment of his imagination,” Mr. Iyofor said.

It was “concocted to obfuscate and politicise the real issues for his arrest and SSS investigation of allegations of corruption against him.

“The claims by Justice Okoro against Amaechi are blatant lies bereft of any iota of truth or even.”

“This is a cheap attempt, albeit political move, to drag the name of Amaechi into something he knows nothing about,” Mr. Iyofor said. “Justice Okoro should face his issues and leave Amaechi out of it. He will be hearing from our lawyers.”

Mr. Okoro also detailed how Mr. Umana allegedly paid him a separate visit in an attempt to influence the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling, adding that he was there with a clergyman.

“My Lord will recall that I also reported that Mr. Umana Umana visited my residence before Amaechi’s visit. He also made the same request of assistance to win his appeal at the Supreme Court. Mr. Umana talked about “seeing” the justices who would hear the appeal.

“Pastor Ebebe Ukpong who led Mr. Umana Umana to my house intercepted and said that the issue of “seeing” the justices was not part of their visit and that as a pastor he would not be part of such a discussion.

“Mr. Umana apologised and I advised them to go and pray about the matter and get a good lawyer. That was how they left my house,” Mr. Okoro said.

Notwithstanding, Mr. Okoro said members of the APC in Akwa Ibom continued to assume that he was the one responsible for their loss at the Supreme Court.

“Could I have resigned from the court simply because people of Akwa Ibom had a matter before it?” Mr. Okoro queried rhetorically.

Mr. Umana could not be reached for comments Tuesday night.

Mr. Okoro told the Chief Justice he had never been involved in corrupt practice.


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  • azu ralph

    Well Justice Okoro has spoken, Amechi has denied. Now it is mandatory and incumbent on the CHIEF JUSTICE OF NIGERIA to confirm or repudiate Justice Okoro reporting to him earlier before his arrest. And also Umana and Pastor Egbebe to deny or confirm visiting Justice Okoro..They should, in their conscience do. How much is our Souls wort now?

    • George

      With all the details in Justice Okoro letter I have no doubt he is right and compared to Ameachi past behavior and with APC looking for one oil producing state as stated by John Oyegun I so much believe in Okoro letter.

      • Rommel

        Chibuike Amechi is no stranger to supreme court because it was there that he got his victory so could not have put himself in a position that will haunt him eventually,what we are hearing now from these judges is a rehearsed response coached them by erstwhile street criminals now turned politicians like Nyesom Wike and Godswill Akpaboi.

    • Nnamdi Ugwuadu

      Azu, in case you have not been following this issue before now, the Chief justice of the federation had told Nigerians that the arrested judges are the people that rejected to collect bribe from APC led government. Amaechi cannot deny of visiting justice Okoro. Amaechi is a corrupt politician. Buhari will not prob him now, remember who bought presidential form for Buhari. Corruption will soon start fighting back at APC.

      • Rommel

        Among all the people arrested so far in this administration for graft by the EFCC,which of them has denied it? even Musliu Obanikoro that turned himself in a couple of days ago has commended the EFCC for their professionalism in handling his matter so that alone should serve as guide to how they do things there and mind you,the searches on the corrupt Judges were conducted with warrants duly issued by magistrates of competent jurisdiction,or are you saying that there is no corruption in the judiciary of Nigeria? during the thanksgiving church service for Nyesom Wike after his supreme court victory,he made it clear in public the roles played by Justice Mary Odili and her husband,what more could be pervasion of Justice?

  • clairvoyance

    Tales by moonlight the APC was never involved in the Abia we have too many pdp judges in the judiciary and they need to be weeded out.

    • share Idea

      So when you weed them out, you will replace them with APC judges. The replacement of PDP at federal level has resulted in elevation of lies and propaganda to official logo/policies of Nigerian government. Nigeria we hail thee

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  • Dunu Anselm

    Naive Nigerians have voted a group of vampires to power. They are ruining all our values. Starting from very corrupt president to mendacious ministers, the soul of the country is being wrenched apart. But our God is a great One and He never sleeps. Rotimi Amechi is the genie that has sworn to mess up the entire environment with his filthy droppings and some deranged people do not see anything wrong with it. It stinks to high heavens. Buhari is really fighting corruption huh.

  • Darlington

    APC is the worst set of power mongers in Nigeria’s political history. Can corruption fight corruption?

  • Kevin Peter

    With some decamped members of PDP now in APC controlled FG, anything is possible.

  • marig

    Why keep 3.5million naira at home instead of the bank? Why keep 38,000 dollars at home?

  • George

    This is what you get when voters cast their votes in anger.

    Ameachi will never go unpunished.

  • Julius

    Yea right. He kept quiet then but now he is telling stories.

    • Allen

      Well looks like he got better offers from PDP because PDP didn’t really win the election especially in Abia state. Abia people will tell anyone that cares to listen that they massively voted for AOGA

  • Rommel

    HaahahahahahahLol old men telling stories,looks like the type of stories street operators like senator Godswill Akpaboi will concoct,so in the opinion of this judge,what happened in Akwa Ibom was election,too sad,just too sad

  • Nnamdi Ugwuadu

    That was the same way Amaechi worn his supreme court case against Omehia. Very arrogant and corrupt politician. He may think that he is smart but he should be rest assured that nemesis will catch up with him one day. He led the bad eggs in PDP that decamped to APC. Now, they have infected the entire Country with their corruption virus. When corrupt politicians merge together with a former military junta and tyrant ruler, Nigerians are in a heavy mess. This is one chance change.

  • Anasieze Donatus

    I dey laugh ,Amechi approached you and you kept quite for almost 2 years and suddenly they remembered you as the Judge to did a judicial arm to them and went after you .For 3 years you kept your accumulated estacode at home because you have issues with all the banks in Nigeria.You told the CJN that Amaechi visited you to bribe or influence the
    judgement on Jan February 1,four days after judgement was given because
    JUDGEMENT WAS DELIVERED ON JAN.27! Was it to influence an election already decided by you to the highest bidder.ABEGIII ,Second base

    • Henry Ohakwe

      So if something happened January, it is two years almost in your calculation. LOL! He reported to the right place please the CJN. Judges don’t go talking elsewhere except in their courts. Was the Akwa Ibom state case he exempted himself which was the subject of this offered bribe delivered on January 27?

      • Anasieze Donatus

        Next time read before responding because you are sure to make mistakes when you respondding before reading a comment.Have a nice day

        • Henry Ohakwe

          I don’t get your meaning. I think you didn’t even read your comment nor what the judge wrote. Was he talking of rivers election or the Akwa Ibom election? I mean did you read his letter. Or you forgot that AK election petition which he was referring to that he reported to the CJN the visit of Amechi and Umana came far later, possibly around march or so? You read before commenting sir?

          • Anasieze Donatus

            Go back to school

          • Henry Ohakwe

            Well then, you need more of that than me as you can’t comprehend simple letter.

  • Uzoma John

    Tales by moonlight. These Judges are very funny. Childish indeed. What concerns Amaechi with you being corrupt and recovering huge sums of money from your home? If you want to play a blame game, you’ve lost out. I’m sorry. Go acquit yourself in court. This excuse is very flimsy and unconnected to why DSS arrested you.

  • Henry Ohakwe

    If the Justice of the Supreme Court speaks and Rotimi Amechi speaks and you disbelieve the Judge and Believe Amechi; your name is DUMB SQUARED. Wait and see, we will recover our country from these dark horses groping only in darkness!

    • Ikechukwu_67

      So he kept quiet when Amaechi visited him??? ok I get it, he only spoke out after the DSS arrested him. Amaechi definitely controls the DSS in his case while the Attorney General controls the DSS in Ademola’s case. I am waiting for other Judges to talk about theirs too. Funny Judiciary people!

      • share Idea

        Please ask your DSS to take them to court

  • Chinedu

    Actually a sorry state for our judiciary. These politicians are achieving their dangerous aim of dragging down this highly esteemed arm of government to be as dirty and rotten the way they(politicians) are. I believe that the manner of the judges arrests smacks of vendetta. The law was used as the smoke screen. I think we have had enough of this political overheat. My challenge to the present leadership(president and cabinet) of this country is to immediately put all the evidence amassed in the DSS sting operation before a court of law and ensure conviction of these suspects. If not I will apologize to my friends and colleagues who I influenced to support this present regime. My belief when I canvassed for a change to the impunity of corruption was because I thought things would be done differently.

    • share Idea

      Please do not apologies to your friends as things are now being done differently as you expected – government now breaks the law in the name implementing CHANGE. When real democrat (GEJ) was in power, gullible people like you called him names, now, the clueless in power, everyone is now corrupt except the messiah (Buhari) and his APC members.

  • UCHE

    It is unfortunate to live in Nigeria today. The supreme court justice notified his boss, his boss have not said he lied but people chose to believe Amechi and not the justice. Amechi got to where he is serving as a house boy to Odili and he is now rated in intelligence and integrity to the person who rose to become a justice of the supreme court. shame on you as a people.

    • vagabonds in power

      it is really sad–no wonder we have Buhari as president–sadly most of those posting those comments in support of amaechi are Ibos——–

  • thusspokez

    The rogue SSS kept mentioning the money alleged to be in the judges’ homes. It’s operatives also chose night time — often the time of choice of real armed robbers — to raid the Judges’ homes.

    I would argue that the SSS — being dodgy Nigerians — intended to rob these Judges of some of the money in the cover of darkness when few could see their nefarious activities. If not, why couldn’t they visit the judges’ homes in daytime? After all, the judges are not fugitives on the run. Put another way, the SSS knows where the judges work and also where they live.

  • Tori Osa

    To me, for a supreme court Justice to say this, he must be pretty confused about the mess he’s got himself in.

    • iwe paul

      He is not confused. His story just shows how desperate our politicians can be,even having the temerity to approach Supreme Court judges to attempt to influence their judgments. Unfortunately,we now have a President whom i doubt can think deeply and logically analyse issues critically. Very very sad story. It is really,really interesting how all the judges so far arrested have political connections to the last election. It appears the people attempting to defile and corrupt the judges are the ones arresting them and attempting to label them corrupt. Only in Nigeria!!!!!!

      • Tori Osa

        So his side of the story has been ascertained to get you to say this??

    • vagabonds in power

      It is you who is confused———————because u did not reason very well b4 u posted that rubbish–who in Nigerian does not know Amaechi and his style of stealing

  • Olu Oluwadare

    This letter sited a “verbal report” to the CJN.
    My question is: In the civil service, whatever action taken on a verbal report/approval/request is null and void (that much i learnt while I was in the Civil Service, why did a Chief Judge of his rank and caliber make verbal report of such a serious magnitude if it happened then, was he expecting something will materialize later on or knowing fully well who politicians are, does he not know/remember as a judge that such issues call for reference? Again, if the moneys found in his home were part of unspent estacodes, does the Supreme court or Ministry of Justice pay estacodes in cash (what happened to e-payment), why is the money kept in the house even if it exceeds bank limits (limits are meant to control/curb money laundering therefore if the source is legit especially from your place of work, nothing happens) (I know former minister of state for health who lectures in a higher institution in Canada, such proceeds will not be queried as they are legit? I am not trying to exonerate Amechi or Umana, Im only trying to ask if the judges actions and stories add up. Also, why is he making the letter open to Nigerian if it is really official and to his boss (i know such letters are usually CONFIDENTIAL), why not let his boss take the action on his behalf officially, why make a ‘confidential letter” open to Nigerians? Just wondering…

    • vagabonds in power

      Have u ever made a verbal report to a query issued to u by yr boss while in the civil service–who told u it was a verbal report–monkey

  • vagabonds in power

    What makes Nigerians believe that if evidence did not matter in General Abacha’s case, why should it matter in General Buratai’s case? Why should evidence matter in General Dambazau’s case? Did Nigerians forget so soon how Buhari allowed retired Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako who stole the commonwealth of Adamawa State dry not to be detained? Are they surprised that the case has since receded into the background?

    But for someone under whose nose $2,8 billion disappeared when he was Petroleum Minister in 1978, this ought not to be too strange. For someone who fails to account for the 100 Billion naira Petroleum Trust Fund that he presided over under the same Abacha, this should not be strange. For someone who led Nigerians in a lie that he did not have a house in Abuja when the contrary is true, why should this be news?

  • vagabonds in power

    Buhari, 2 More Years To Goooooo!!!!

    1] N4.5trillion – 2015 budget squandered.

    2] N6.trillion – 2016 budget shared.

    3] $30bn external reserve – depleted.

    4] $5bn NLNG dividend Handed over to Buhari gets wings.