NIGERIA: Rest In Peace Dear Democracy!
18TH OCTOBER, 2016
My Lord, The Hon. the Chief Justice of Nigeria
& Chairman,
National Judicial Council
Supreme Court Complex
My Lord
1. Some days before Friday, 7th October, 2016 I
started feeling symptoms of malaria attack. Any
malaria drug keeps me drowsy and sleeping for
days and since I had to go to work I decided to
hang on until Friday to take the drug after work.
2. I returned from work late Friday afternoon, had
a meal and took the medication I got from Dr.
Ukah of the Supreme Court Medical Centre. By
7.30 pm I was already in bed having switched off
my hand sets. After a little while my house maid
knocked on the door to my bedroom. I reluctantly
dragged myself to the door. She told me that a
group of people wanted to see me. I told her to
inform whoever wanted to see me that night that
I do not see visitors in the night, that they could
come to see me in day time. I went back to
sleep. I could not tell how long later that I heard
knocks on the door. I ignored the knocks but
when my house girl continued knocking on the
door I managed to get up and opened the door.
She told me that some people said that the
President sent them to me. I got out of the room
to find that a large number of people some of
whom wore face masks and hand gloves were
everywhere in the ground floor. I told my house
maid to ask the people to meet me in my study
next door to the bedroom.
3. They rushed into my study, one of them said
his name was John. He flashed a card to me and
showed me what he said was a search warrant.
My vision was blurred as a result of the malaria
and the drug I took. They had drawn guns. I was
terrified and I thought they had a more sinister
mission than a mere search. I made to know
whether the Chief Justice of Nigeria knew of
their mission. One of them contemptuously spat
“Who is Chief Judge of Nigeria”. I brought out
my handset to call the Chief Registrar of the
Supreme Court, they would not let me do so.
Rather they collected my three phones and
another phone that I had discarded. I lay down
on the seat in the parlour downstairs while they
turned everything upside down on the ground
When they finished downstairs they demanded
that I should show them the rooms on the next
floor. Again I had to lie down on the seat in the
room while they turned everything upside down. I
had to go to another seat when they want to
upturn the seat I occupied. One of them saw the
sum of forty thousand naira (N40,000.0 and
one thousand naira notes in one of the drawers.
He was excited and called their lead who saw
the money and said “This is not the kind of
money we came to pick”. They left the
4. In the next bedroom I lay on the bed out of
sight of the wardrobe from which they brought
some boxes and brief cases and travelling bags.
All the bags and briefcases and travelling bags
except one contained only magazines, papers
and some old clothing. Some were empty. Only
one small bag was locked with a padlock and this
was the only bag that contained money. They
directed me to come over and remove the
padlock. I retrieved the key from the side pocket
of the bag and removed the padlock and
returned to my bed. They put the bags together
by the toilet door. They called me again and
asked me whether the bags were my property
and I answered they were my property. None of
the bags were neither opened in my presence
nor in the presence of my housemaid who was
the only person in the house with me at all
material times.
5. Some of them stayed in the room while I took
them to my study. At this time I became very
dizzy and I had to return to lie down on a seat in
the parlour and a man with a gun and a face
mask stood over me while I dozed. He followed
each time I went to the toilet. Another one
followed my housemaid each time I asked her for
water. There was no way out of the house. They
were at all doors. Those searching and those
outside the house went into the house through
the main door, kitchen door and back doors.
They went in and out of every room including the
room in which the bags were kept. I dozed
intermittently but my house girl was kept sitting
on the steps and was able to observe them
coming through the kitchen door but she could
not see those who came from back doors, took
the second steps and went in and out of the
rooms on the upper floor.
6. After many hours they came down to the
sitting room downstairs and told me they were
going to bring down the bags.
I was speechless when I saw them bringing out
huge bundles of different currencies from the
bags that had contained only magazine papers
and old clothes and some were empty. Some
were contained in multi-coloured plastic bags
which they tore and discarded. They put the
money in different bags and brief cases and then
proceeded to count a large amount of N5, N10,
N20 and N50 notes which was the change I
returned each time I went to shop over the
years. They kept waking me up to ask how I
came about the small denomination of naira
notes. No one asked me any question about the
huge sums of money they put in the bags.
7. One of them came to where I was lying down
and ordered me to sit up. One of the gun men
who stood a few feet from me came and stood
next to me with his gun drawn. I was ordered to
sign a paper which they said contained a list of
what they were taking away. Confronted with the
life-threatening situation I made an instant
mental decision that it was better for me to
comply with their orders and stay alive to tell my
story rather than get shot and killed on the
pretext that I attacked them or that I tried to
escape. I signed the paper and wrote my name
as ordered. No one told me what offence I was
alleged to have committed. No one told me of
any petition or allegation against me.
8. The only bag that contained money was the
small bag i locked with a padlock which I
unlocked when ordered to do so. The bag
contained the sum of $25,000, £10 = = and a
brown envelope containing the sum of N710,000
which was a monthly allowance paid to me for
September 2016. In the brief case, which I carry
to my office daily, I had the sum of N300,000
and some loose change. The above are the only
sums of money taken from me along with my
phones, papers and other household items. I do
not know how they came about the huge sums
of money I saw for the first time in my parlour on
the early hours of Saturday, 8th October, 2016.
The various sums of money alleged to have been
recovered from me were said to be in the social
media in the early hours of Saturday, 8thOctober,
2016 when the invaders were yet to complete
their search.
9. They took me away in their vehicle but before
they drove away they ordered my housemaid to
get in and lock the house and not to ever come
or let anyone into the house. It was when I saw
DSS in the premises into which they drove me
that I realized my invaders were agents of a
Federal Government Department. Prior to getting
into the premises I thought that the invaders
were even armed robbers or kidnappers, more so
when I was not questioned by anyone about
10. Then I became much more disturbed not only
for myself but for the future of this great Nation,
Nigeria. I could not convince myself that any
agency of the Federal Government, in a
democratic setting, could for any undisclosed
reason violate the rights of a Nigerian citizen, a
Judicial Officer and Justice of the Supreme
Court of Nigeria, for that matter with such
impunity. I thought that the democratic
government had been overthrown and the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
1999 (as amended) abolished or suspended.
11. Then the next phase of the ordeal started. I
was taken to a room where I met my learned
brother, Hon. Justice John Inyang Okoro, JSC.
He looked spent and so were other Judicial
Officers both serving, sacked and retired. No one
told me anything or asked me any question till
late in the night when they drove from over one
hour to a place they called villa. They took
Justice Okoro and myself into a room that
contained only a bed with a discarded, stained
old mattress and both of us had to share it for
the night. There was no towel, no soap and
worst of all there was no toilet paper. We slept
in our clothes, went under the tap and used our
handkerchiefs in place of towels.
12. The next day, Sunday, we were driven back
to the office. I was taken to a room where two
operatives fired questions at me in quick
succession. I answered as much as I could in
the circumstances. I pleaded with them to tell
me why I was abducted and detained and
subjected to endless questioning.I also asked
why everyone kept mute over the huge sums of
money allegedly recovered in my house but none
of the two men would answer my question. We
were allowed to go home Sunday night only as a
result of the intervention of the Hon. Chief
Justice of Nigeria, the Hon. Justice Mahmud
Mohammed, GCON. We were ordered to return
on Monday and since then we have been
reporting daily to them.
13. On Friday last week, I was ordered to report
by 10 am. Justice Okoro and I were required to
appear before the Judiciary Committee of the
Senate. We told our stories to the Senators and
rushed from them to meet our interrogators. On
one particular occasion, I was taken to, and
locked up, in their different rooms. Each room
had only a table and a set of chairs and I was
kept for about one and half hours in each room.
No one was with me in any of the rooms.
14. My Noble Lord, I am a victim of my own
resolve never to violate my sacred oath of office
as a Judicial Officer. Politicians and their
collaborators have been hunting me on that
account. It started in Ebonyi State where I was
falsely accused before a panel set up by NJC in
August 2000. It was replicated in 2009 when I
was pulled from my Division, Calabar, to preside
over a motion filed by Senator Andy Uba seeking
to be a Governor without going through the
process of election. In each case I was
15. My present plight started sometime between
2013 and 2014. I represented the then Chief
Justice of Nigeria in an event organised in the
International Conference Centre.Hon. Rotimi
Amaechi came in late and sat next to me at the
high table. He introduced himself to me and we
exchanged contacts. A few weeks after,
Fayose’s case was determined in the Court of
Appeal. Amaechi called me by 6.45 am. He said
he had come to see me but was told I had left
for my office. When he said he would return in
the evening, I demanded to know what he
wanted but he would not tell me. He did not
come that evening but came the following
morning when I was already prepared to go to
work. He begged me to ensure that Fayose’s
election was set aside and another election
ordered for his friend Fayemi to contest. I told
him I would not help him and that even if I am
on the panel I have only my one vote.
16. After the Rivers State Governorship election
was determined by the Court of Appeal, he called
to tell me his ears were full and he would like to
tell me what he heard. I told him I was out of
Abuja at the time. On my return he came in the
evening and even before he sat down he barked
“You have seen Wike”. I asked him whether that
was a question or a statement. Then he made a
call and asked me to speak with someone. The
man he called said he was a DSS man. We
exchanged greetings and I handed the phone to
him. Next, he said “Oga is not happy”. I asked
him who is the unhappy “Oga” and he answered
“Buhari”. I retorted “go and talk to his wife”. He
got very angry, and left, remarking “we shall see”
several times.
17. Your Lordship may recall one morning when I
pleaded not be on the Panel for Rivers Appeal.
Your Lordship said I was already on the Panel
and asked me to explain why I made the request
to be excluded. When I explained what transpired
the previous night, Your Lordship told me
Amaechi had also attempted to influence other
Justices. My Lord, on the day we heard the
appeal with your Lordship presiding, we were
allowed lunch break at 4.20 pm. The moment I
got into my Chambers he, Amaechi, called. When
he told who was calling, I said to him, “Your
Excellency, you want to issue more threats”? He
replied “Have you been threatened before?” I
replied “I know a threat when I hear one even if
veiled. In any case I will not talk to you” and I
switched off my phone.
18. The people who failed in their attempt to
destroy me in Ebonyi in 2000 and in Enugu in
Andy Uba’s case in the Court of Appeal, Enugu in
2009 are now supplying Amaechi with
information to fight me for my negative response
to his demands, especially my answer to his
statement that “Oga was not happy”.This
infuriated him and as he stormed out he said he
would deal with the situation.
19. The incident I will narrate below may or may
not bear on this case. When the Governorship
Election appeal from my State, Ebonyi, came to
the Court of Appeal, one Mr. Igwenyi, a Senior
staff of Federal Judicial Service Commission
came to my Chambers and told me that the
former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Ogbonnaya
Onu had pleaded with him to convince me to see
him, Dr. Onu. I asked him to call Dr. Onu; he did
and I wanted to know why he wanted to see me.
He said it was confidential. I asked when he
wanted to see me and he said he would like me
to come in the evening. I told Igwenyi that he
would have to take me to Dr. Onu in his car and
bring me back. I had wanted him to listen to
what Dr. Onu had to say but when we arrived, Dr
Onu put him in a different room. He asked me
whether I know the Hon. President of the Court
of Appeal and I told him that His Lordship was
my Presiding Justice in the Court of Appeal,
Benin Division. He asked of my relationship with
the PJA and I said it was cordial. He nodded his
head several times in apparent satisfaction.
20. He told me that the candidate for the Labour
Party was ready to switch over to APC if he
could help him win the appeal in the Court of
Appeal and that in appreciation of the
undertaking to come over to his party, he had
obtained the services of three Justices of the
Court of Appeal to ensure victory for Labour
Party. He said he needed one to convince the
PJA to include his three Justices of the Court of
Appeal in the five-man panel to hear the appeal.
I told him I would not help him and that I could
not in good conscience convey such request
even to a Customary Court Judge. He was
disappointed and asked me whether I knew the
husband of the PJA. I told him I did not know
the man. I bid him good night and left. Igwenyi
joined me in the passage and when he drove me
back to my home I told him what Dr. Onu
wanted. Igwenyi apologised to me and assured
me that he would not have bothered me if he
had known what Dr. Onu wanted me to do.
21. In addition to the above I have been
subjected to visits to the DSS offices. I was
made to stay idle for the whole day, without food
or even water. On 17thOctober, 2016 I went to
the DSS office to collect my passports as
directed. I was to be there by 10 am but I
arrived by 9.30 am and I was assured that I
would return to my office in no time. I was kept
there till 3.45 pm before I was questioned on the
passports till 5.00 pm. After that, one of them
took the passports to his boss. He returned an
hour later, handed me my passports and told me
he had finished with me but that only the man in
whose office I was could let me go. I was only
allowed to go about 10 pm with a warning to
report at 10 am on 18thOctober 2016. From 9.30
am to 10 pm I was not given water or food.
22. I am on my way to the DSS office and who
knows if and when I will be allowed to leave the
23. My Lord, the facts stated here in can be
24. Attached is an Affidavit deposed by me in
the Supreme Court Registry to this effect.
Yours faithfully