ONE of the judges arrested and
quizzed by the Directorate of State Security (DSS) has alleged that he is
probably being vilified because he did not accede to the request to help the
All Progressives Congress (APC) to win the governorship of Awka Ibom State.
Justice Okoro made the allusion in
a letter he wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), entitled: “Invasion of
my official residence by operatives of the State Security Service.”
The Supreme Court justice alleged
that former Rivers State governor, now Minister of Transportation, Rotimi
Amaechi, visited him after the 2015 general election to request that he should
ensure that APC won the Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Abia governorship elections at
the appeal stage at all cost and that he would be rewarded with millions of naira
monthly if he cooperated.
Justice Okoro also alleged that the
former governor told him that he had already “visited you (CJN) and that you
had agreed to make me a member of the panel that would hear the appeals.
“My response, as I told you on that
date, 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.
“When they lost at the Supreme
Court, the APC believed it was my presence at the court that contributed to
their loss. Could I have resigned from the Supreme Court simply because people
of Akwa Ibom State had a matter before it?” Okoro added
The judge urged the CJN and the
National Judicial Council (NJC) to disregard all the lies by those who felt he
purposely refused to help them win their elections appeal in the Supreme Court.
Justice Okoro revealed how the
security operatives came to his residence, searched his house from 9.00 p.m.
till 1.30 a.m. on October 8 and took away N3.5 million and $38,800.
The operatives, who he said were
all pointing guns at him, told him the Director-General of SSS wanted to see
him in the wee hours and he had to go with them, following which he was
Justice Okoro noted in the memo to
the CJN that all the money taken from his house were his estacodes from trips
and conferences abroad.
Reacting to the allegations, Amaechi,
in a statement on Tuesday night, said “this accusation from Justice Okoro
against Amaechi is a figment of his imagination, concocted to obfuscate and politicize
the real issues for his arrest and DSS investigation of allegations of
corruption against him.
“The claims by Justice Okoro
against Amaechi are blatant lies, bereft of any iota of truth or even logic.