- As SSS Arrests Two Supreme Court Justices, Others
- Conducts Nationwide Raid of Judges Homes
The meeting, will consider the recommendation of Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen, by the Federal Federal Judicial Service Commission, for appointment as the next Chief Justice of Nigeria.
It will also discuss the Gestapo-style arrest of two Supreme Court justices, Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro, and two judges of the Federal High Court, Adeniyi Ademola (Abuja Division) and Justice Muazu Pindiga (Gombe Division). The house of another judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, was also raided. He was however not arrested.
Our correspondent gathered that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, summoned the emergency meeting in view of the development in the judiciary.
SSS operatives operating simultaneously raided the houses of the justices and after several hours whisked them away like common criminals.
Sources said that the operatives surrounded the houses for several hours before they eventually broke in.
An eyewitness told our correspondent that the SSS operatives initially mistook the house of Justice Onnoghen for that of Justice Ngwuta. The source said that they however left Onnoghen’s house immediately they were told that it was not Ngwuta’s house.
Justice Onnoghen is the most senior justice of the Supreme Court after the CJN. Barring any unforeseen circumstance and in accordance with precedent, he is billed to take over from Justice Mohammed who will retire on November 10 at the mandatory retirement age of 70.
The operatives also raided houses of judges already sent packing by the NJC. The house of the former Chief Judge of Enugu, I.A. Umezulike, was raided in Enugu while the house of a former judge of Kano State High Court, Kabiru Auta, who was dismissed last week, was equally raided.
There were allegations that the judges were assaulted in the course of the raid but THISDAY cannot authenticate the allegation.