DSS Still After Port-Harcourt Judge

Director Genersl of DSS, Lawan Daura
Director General of DSS, Lawan Daura

More details are emerging with regards to the botched attempt to arrest Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Port-Harcourt.

Operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, had raided the Judge’s house on Friday but could not effect his arrest following the intervention of Governor Nyesom Wike.

However, sources from the DSS say the Service is still tracking Liman and would arrest him sooner than later.

Justice Liman was alleged to have collected bribes from Governor Wike in order to give favourable judgment to the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The sources also accused the judge of being a middle man who collects bribes from litigants and then pass them on to other judges.

PREMIUM TIMES quoted a top SSS official as saying that “We received a petition that he (Liman) received bribes to give his ruling and our investigations confirmed it.

“He travels across the border to Ghana, Republic of Benin and other West African countries to meet lawyers in hotels to take bribes for himself and his colleagues on the bench,” he said.

The DSS source also gave more insight as to why the operation failed.

“The vehicle that was used to cart away the $2million was faster than our men’s own,” the source said.

“They just couldn’t catch up with them at such a high speed. It’s like chasing a 7-cylinder vehicle with a 3-cylinder.”

He added that “We will arrest him in coming days; we have no doubt about this as we have enough evidence to nail him in court. By bringing Governor Wike in, he has worsened his own case.”

But in a statement, Governor Wike dismissed the allegations as an attempt by the DSS to divert attention from its gross desecration of the constitution.‎

He said: “In the police, erring and corrupt policemen are first given orderly room trial, sacked and then appropriately prosecuted.

“For judicial officers, the DSS has no role. I am not in support of any judicial official being involved in corruption. This impunity must stop.”

Also, Justice Liman reportedly released a statement in which he denied the allegation against him.

The statement published on a website, ‘TheNigerianLawyer’  quoted Liman as saying: “I’m not asking anybody to believe or disbelieve whether I stashed $2m, an amount that is equivalent to about N1b.”

“Perhaps you might think the SSS probably exaggerated the amount, but all these would have been relevant considerations if they had actually searched my house.

“If I had $2m or even a quarter of it I would have abandoned this horrible profession that has lost its dignity.






     

     

    “In fact I have already lost interest in it and have made up my mind to say bye bye to it. I believe there is a life beyond every other thing,” he said.

    The seven Justices whose residences were raided and who are believed to still be in DSS detention are: Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court; Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja and Kabir Auta of the Kano High Court.

    Others are Muazu Pindiga of Gombe High Court, Mohammed Tsamiya of the Court of Appeal in Ilorin, and the Chief Judge of Enugu State, I. A. Umezulike.

    Reports say that access to the bank accounts of the detained judges had revealed that they had been collecting money from different sources in the discharge of their duties but had used the names and pictures of their wives, children and siblings to open such banks account.

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