The Department of State Services (DSS) has confirmed that it invaded the homes of some high ranking and serving judges in Abuja and Port Harcourt on Friday night.
According to the agency, the operations it carried were based on allegations of corruptions and other acts of professional misconduct levelled against a few of the suspected Judges of the Supreme, Appeal and High Courts.
Addressing a news conference at the DSS headquarters, Abuja on Saturday, a DSS operative, Garba Abdullahi, explained that the Department had been monitoring the lifestyles of some judges, and that it was determined to bring sanity to the judiciary.
His words: “The 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 judgment obtained fraudulently and on the basis amounts 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 of various denominations, local and foreign currencies, with real estate worth several millions of naira and documents affirming unholy acts by these judges.”
“In one of the states where the operations were conducted, credible intelligence revealed that the Judge had Two Million United States Dollars ($2,000,000 USD) stashed in his house.
“When he was approached for due search to be conducted, he in concert with the state governor, mobilised thugs against the Service 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 Service is currently making effort to unravel.”
Meanwhile, he said large amount including foreign/local currencies had been recovered.
Garba gave the summaries of these to include: N93,558,000.00, $530,087, £25,970 and €5,680 (euro).
At the early hours of today, the houses of two Justices of the Supreme Court – Justices Walter Onnoghen and Sylvester Ngwuta – as well as two judges of the Federal High Court, Justices Adeniyi Ademola and Nnamdi Dimgba, were invaded by the DSS.
After the raid, Justice Ademola was taken away at about 5am.