Justice Inyang Okoro has alleged that the Department of State Services (DSS) raided his home because he refused to be bought over by Rotimi Ameachi in the Akwa Ibom governorship election case.
In a four page letter Justice Okoro wrote to NJC indicting Umana O. Umana and Rotimi Amaechi of bribery deals.
Saying that his travail was not unconnected with the visit of the former governor of Rivers State and Transport Minister Rotimi Ameachi to his official resident.
“For Akwa Ibom State, he ( Amaechi) alleged that he sponsored Mr. Umana O. Umana, of the APC for that election and that if he lost Akwa Ibom appeal, he would have lost a fortune. Mr. Amaechi also said that Mr. Umana would be paying me millions of Naira monthly if I co-operated with them. My response was that it does not lie within my power to grant his request and that 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. That notwithstanding, the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State which lost the appeal at the Supreme Court believe that my presence in the Supreme Court made them to lose the appeal. Could I have resigned from the Supreme Court simply because people of Akwa Ibom State had a matter before it?
“My Lord will recall that I also requested that Mr. Umana Umana visited my residence before Ameachi’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 (Dr) 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 apologized. I advised them to go and pray about the matter and get a good lawyer. That was how they left my house.
“My Lord, up till now, I do not know what I have done. Over the years, from the Magistracy till date, I have done my best to eschew all forms of corrupt practices. I have not received any bribe from anybody. My Lord is quite aware of my position as regards those who take bribe in the judiciary. I detest it and have no room for any adjustment. That is the truth.
“I urge My Lord and the National Judicial Council to disregard all the lies and media campaign orchestrated by those who felt I purposely refused to help them win their election appeals in the Supreme Court. I am confident that God will vindicate me at the end of this ordeal. I take it as a temporary setback. I remain loyal to my oath of office and the need to be just and fair in handling matters before me,” he said.
A few days back (DSS) raided the homes of Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of High Courts it accused of “corruption” and “professional misconduct” in parts of the country.
Several houses belonging to justices were stormed by security officials in Abuja, Rivers and Gombe states, with some of the judicial officers taken into custody.
The security operatives raided the Abuja residences of Justices Sylvester Ngwuta, John Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court, and whisked them away.
They also picked Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja at his Apo Legislative Quarters home and searched the house of another Abuja Federal High Court Judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba.
In Gombe, the operatives whisked away Justice Mu’azu Pindiga of the state High Court.
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