Some of the judges arrested by the Department of State Services in sting operations for corruption are fighting back to redeem their honour.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola, 63, who was appointed in 2014 as a Federal High Court judge has been throwing punches at DSS and the Attorney-general of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
In one breath, he said he was being harassed because he once ordered the arrest of Malami, when he was a judge in Kano. In another, he said the DSS came for him because he gave judgement in favour of the detained former National Security, Sambo Dasuki, because he bribed him.
Ademola dramatised his defence further by asking Dasuki in open court whether the two of them ever met before or since his case came before him.
Ademola: Do you know me at all?
Dasuki: Before I came to this court, not at all.
Ademola: Did you at any time give me money?
Dasuki: None that I am aware of.
Ademola: Did you send your lawyers to give me money?
Dasuki: Not at all.
Ademola: Did you give money to any of my relatives?
Dasuki: Not at all, maybe the DSS is alleging that I did.”
The DSS had on Oct. 8 raided Ademola’s residence in Abuja and other judges’ homes for alleged corruption.
The Service claimed it found money in local and foreign currencies in the sting operation.
Now Ademola claimed that the EFCC exaggerated the money found in his house.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, also on EFCC dishonour roll also claimed that he was stung by the agency because of the rulings he had delivered against the DSS.
The most dramatic response came from Justice John Okoro, who claimed he was being punished because he refused to sway justice in the electoral disputes involving candidates of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers and Akwa Ibom state.
He also mentioned the dispute in Abia State, which involved the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
Okoro claimed Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and Chief Umana Okon Umana, APC candidate in Akwa Ibom state offered him bribes and that he made a verbal report to the Chief Justice of Nigeria at the time.
Both Amaechi and Umana had debunked the claims as an after-thought.
Okoro’s bribery claim was easily faulted by observers as the date he claimed Amaechi came to induce him came after the judgment had been delievered.
“Okoro claimed Ameachi visited him on Feb 1st to bribe him on Rivers state Election but the judgement was delivered 27th Jan. How?”, asked one observer of the riveting corruption drama.