BreakingNews 8/10/16 - DSS arrest two Supreme Court Justices, others nationwide in Nigeria

[ Masterweb Reports: Adelanwa Bamgboye reports ] - Officers from the Department of State Security (DSS), in the early hours of Saturday arrested two justices of the Supreme Court after searching their houses for several hours. An impeccable source at the Supreme Court who confirmed this on condition of anonymity gave the names of the justices as Justices Okoro and Justice Sylvanus Ngwuta.
 
The DSS operatives arrived Justice Sylvanus Ngwuta about 12 midnight on Friday and stayed till 4am this morning before he was arrested while Okoro was arrest about 9:00am today after his house was searched for several hours by the DSS.
 
Besides the attempted breaking into the home of and attempting to arrest a Federal High Court Judge in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, whose name was not disclosed, it was gathered that more federal judges were attacked on Friday.
It was gathered that a contingent of officers from the Department of State Security (DSS), late Friday surrounded the home of two federal judges in Abuja.
 
The names of the judges, our correspondent gathered, are Nnamdi Dimgba and Adeniyi Ademola.
 
The judges are residents of 32 and 34 Samuel Ogbemudia Cresent in the Apo Legislative Quarters of Abuja respectively.
The invading officers arrived and surrounded Justice Dimgba’s home around 9p.m.
 
Incidentally, Mr. Dimgba was not at home at the time of the invasion.
 
Mr. Ademola was later arrested in the early hours of Saturday while Mr. Dimgba’s brother was assaulted by the operatives.
 
Also arrested on Friday was Justice Muazu Pindiga, the former Chairman of the Rivers State Governorship petition tribunal. He was allegedly arrested for bribery and corruption.
 
Justice Dimgba’s residence was allegedly invaded on Friday night over a recent decision he purportedly gave against the continued detention of a retired Air Commodore, Mohammed Umar.
 
The information regarding why the operatives hounded the Abuja judge could not be confirmed from the DSS which presently does not have any spokesperson.
 
However, a source who pleaded anonymity said the DSS was after Justice Dimgba over Umar’s case.
 
Mr. Umar, it would be recalled, was arrested following allegations of fraud, illegal possession of firearms and abuse of trust.
 
He was granted bail with a bond of N100 million.
 
But Justice Dimgba in a recent ruling ordered the SSS to release Mr. Umar or risk being committed to prison by his court, the source, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria had explained.
 
He said the DSS had earlier been told by a magistrate court to release the accused, but instead they brought the matter before the Federal High Court.
 
When Justice Dimgba, however, learnt that an order had previously been made for the release of Mr. Umar, he decided that his court would maintain the same order and its conditions for bail.
 
Justice Dimgba also ordered the DSS to remand the accused at the Kuje maximum security prison, pending the time when he would meet the conditions for bail.
 
That order was also in furtherance of the decision made at the magistrate court.
 
‎He however stated that the DSS failed to obey the order and continued to hold Mr. Umar.
 
Also in Gombe where the clampdown began, the operatives of the DSS arrested Justice Muazu Pindigi who served on the election tribunal in Rivers State.
 
But it could not be confirmed as well whether the arrest was in connection with the role he played in the River gubernatorial election petition.
 
Finally in Rivers State, the operatives made spirited attempt to arrest a judge but were unsuccessful.
 
It was learnt that just as it happened in Abuja, the security operatives had blocked the entrance of the residence of the Federal High Court judge at about 1am on Saturday morning, claiming that they were acting on orders from above.
 
But soon after they arrived the scene, it was learnt that Governor Wike received security information on the illegal moves, and headed for the locus in quo (the scene of the incident).
 
As soon as he arrived the scene, there was confrontation between agents of the Federal Executive and that of the chief executive of Rivers State.
 
As the operatives surged for the judge, Governor Wike insisted it would not happen under his watch when no invitation was purportedly given to the judge.
 
They allegedly dragged Governor Wike as they insisted that they must leave with the judge.
 
However, the ensuing commotion attracted passers-by and journalists who thronged the vicinity to know why hundreds of security agents in several patrol vans had been mobilised.
 
Upon arrival of the national media, the Rivers State Director of the DSS, Mr Tosin Ajayi allegedly jumped into his vehicle and fled the scene.
 
The governor said he was manhandled by operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) in the course of frustrating the plot.
 
The governor who said he was almost shot by the operatives of the DSS a couple of times in the process had raised the alarm that the present government appeared to have bid the rule of law bye.
 
He also alleged that it appeared the Federal Government was planning to declare state of emergency in the state.
 
As at the time of filing this report, the name of the judge that the DSS operatives came for was being kept away from the press.
 
However, addressing journalists, Rivers State Police Commissioner, Francis Odesanya said the two security agencies were at the scene because they received privileged information.
 
Odesanya claimed he was at the scene as a peace maker. He declined comments on why the Police joined the DSS to abduct a serving Federal High Court judge.
 
Wike further said their action portended danger to the nation’s democracy, adding that he was not convinced that President Buhari was aware of the development.
 
Governor Wike stated that whatever the situation, the rule of law must prevail in a democratic setting.
 
He said if the security agencies had a lawful directive to implement, they must follow due process.
 
*Photo Caption - Nigeria DSS officers

 
 
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