The State Security Service raided the homes of some senior Nigerian judges late Friday and early Saturday to gather evidence of corruption, officials have told PREMIUM TIMES.
The raids on multiple residences in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Gombe, Kano, Enugu and Sokoto, were not aimed at arresting the judges, they said.
An official said the operation was ordered after months of investigations, during which the secret police established credibly that the affected judges were involved in questionable financial dealings.
The SSS initially submitted parts of its findings to the regulatory body, the National Judicial Council.
Officials said the SSS moved in after the council merely recommended two of the judges for retirement, and not prosecution.
The council also refused to cooperate with the SSS as the agency launched wider investigations into the cases for more evidence.
The source explained that judges whose homes were raided include Adeniyi Ademola, and Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja as well as Sylvester Ngwuta and John Okoro of the Supreme Court.
In Kano, the source said the home of a high court judge, Kabiru Auta, was raided along with another residence in Enugu belonging to the Chief Judge of the state, A. I. Umezulike.
The two judges were earlier recommended for retirement recently by the NJC.
The residences of a Gombe State judge, Muazu Pindiga, as well as that of his counterpart from Sokoto state, Justice Samia, were also raided during the operation.
Our source said during the search, documents linking Mr. Ngwuta or Okoro to estates worth over N1.5 billion were recovered.
At the residence of Mr. Ademola, the SSS recovered at least $400, 000 and N39 million in cash, in addition to documents of landed properties belonging to the federal judge.
The raid at Justice Mohammed Liman’s residence in Port Harcourt, our sources said, was ordered to allow operatives search the house because he was believed to be in possession of $2 million.