‘What transpired in Rivers State’
Some of the details of what actually transpired in Rivers State where a judge was to be arrested at the weekend were revealed to journalists yesterday.
A source insisted that the presence of Governor Nyesom Wike prevented the arrest of the Federal High Court judge, Justice Liman, and the non-retrieval of $2 million which was alleged to be in the residence.
According to the source, the amount the DSS was after “was actually $2.5 million, but $500,000 was taken out of it, but we know where it went.”
He hinted that what the governor did was inappropriate, to have interfered in an on-going legitimate operation, adding that the service would definitely still go after the judge.
According to him, the corruption involved in the Rivers State drama centered around the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and how court orders were obtained using financial inducement.
He said those behind the story making the rounds that the warrant used to search the houses of justices of the Supreme and High Courts were procured from magistrate courts were ignorant, claiming that even such a warrant could be used to effect a search in the Presidential Villa.
Another source explained that one of the arrested judges brought in a lawyer during the search, but was advised against resisting the search because it was backed by law.
The spy alleged that it was in the course of the disagreement with Governor Wike that the $2 million the DSS agents came for was spirited away in another car.
It was gathered that one of the judges in detention might have been roped in after monies traced to his young son’s account could not be accounted for as legitimate earnings.
“The judges do not have immunity against prosecution. Is there any immunity conferred on a judge in the constitution? What is the difference between a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a judge; if SANs can be tried in court, why should any individual be above this?” he asked.
“All the noise you are hearing is because it has never happened before, but we are working based on information given to us by informants and petitions we got in our office. Those, like the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), saying what we are doing is unconstitutional should have the courage to go to court to challenge our actions.
“There is no threat to security like hunger and anybody who can create the atmosphere for hunger is a threat to security.
“We are talking about what is beyond the capacity of other agencies of government to handle. Our mandate is to pursue matters having to do with sabotage, subversion, and espionage.
None of these agencies (ICPC, EFCC, Police) can handle this mandate. We are tackling the corruption in the judiciary based on intelligence and analysis, not based on the perception of ordinary Nigerians.”