BY SAHARAREPORTERS, NEW YORK
SaharaReporters has obtained a full list of all the Nigerian judges facing a nationwide clampdown by the Department of State Security (DSS). The list, which includes two of the Supreme Court Justices who have already been arrested, includes three Justices of the Court of Appeal, seven Federal High Court justices and four state High Court judges in Kano, Gombe, and Kaduna states.
The document, which formed the basis for the clampdown on the judges, contains a brief explanation as to why the cleansing of the judiciary should commence with the listed judges. “Pursuant to the current administration’s drive to fight corruption at all levels, and following public revulsion at some section of the judiciary on acts bordering on dishonesty, corruption, and abuse of judicial process, a profile of some senior judicial officers alleged to be involved in corrupt practices has been compiled”, the reported prepared by the DSS stated.
The document explains in graphic detail how Supreme Court justices were compromised during the election petition ruling relating to Governor Nysom Wike of Rivers state.
Although only two judges of the Supreme Court have so far been arrested by the DSS, the documents named a full panel of Supreme Court justices that sat to decide the Rivers state election case.
The document stated that the Supreme Court judgement which gave Governor Wike victory against the Court of Appeal ruling which had reversed Governor Wike election was delivered on January 27th, 2016 and the full judgement further delivered on February 12th, 2016 by a panel that was led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Muhammad Mahmud.
Other panel members named included Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta, Kumai Byang Akaahs, Kudirat Motonmori Olatokumbo kekere-kun, John Inyang Okoro and Amiru Sanusi. Justice Kekere-Ekun delivered a unanimous decision validating Wike’s election.
The document reveals that the CJN constituted the panel on the very day of the judgement in an attempt to frustrate those waiting to induce members of the panel.
It also reveals that despite the strategy adopted by the Chief Justice, the panel received monetary inducement through Justice Mary Odili who, although a member of the Court, was not on the panel.
Justice Odili, according to the confidential report, became dramatic and reportedly wept before her colleagues on the panel, saying that if Wike were not returned as governor, she would prematurely become a widow as her husband, Peter Odili is a former governor of the state, and Wike’s godfather would have a heart attack.
Governor Wike has publicly acknowledged the role of the Odilis in restoring his mandate as governor. During a thanksgiving to mark his victory, he said that had the election been nullified, he would not have re-contested, claiming he was close having a heart attack as his blood pressure was rising.
The report obtained by SaharaReporters does not say how much each of the Supreme Court judges received. It does state that the same amount had been offered to the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, who rejected it, saying she feared that all eyes would be on her.
Dr. Odili on Tuesday took out an N6billion lawsuit against APC candidate Dakuku for his statement concerning Wike’s praise of his role in getting him a favorable legal ruling.