A judge attached to the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court, Justice Mohammed Liman is one of the main targets in the raid on judges’ over the weekend.
A report by Premium Times quoted sources at the DSS saying Liman, among other corrupt conducts, allegedly took bribes from Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike to give favourable judgment to the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to the report, the sources also accused the judge of habitually crossing Nigerian borders to allegedly receive bribes from litigants.
The report quoted a top DSS official who spoke under the condition of anonymity saying the operatives were still tracking Justice Liman and would ensure his arrest in the coming days.
In the early hours of Saturday, October 8, Wike stopped an attempt by men of the DSS and the Police to abduct an unnamed judge in his residence.
Justice Liman is among eight other judges being investigated apart from the seven arrested in the well publicised raids.
The source said Justice Liman allegedly took bribes to influence his judgement in the leadership tussle within the PDP which was brought to his court.
Justice Liman’s July ruling authenticated the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the PDP which had been deemed illegal by Justice Okon Abang.
“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,” the source said.
The source also added that the amount involved in Justice Liman’s botched arrest on Saturday morning was $2.5 million.
His words: “The vehicle that was used to cart away the $2million was faster than our men’s own. 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.
“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 Governor Nyesom Wike fired back in a statement yesterday, October 9. According to the governor, the DSS claim is as an to “divert attention from its gross desecration of the constitution.”
“The SSS concocted the allegations to justify an unconstitutional assault on the nation’s judiciary,” Wike said.
Meanwhile, there are indications that two arrested Supreme Court judges, Sylvester Ngwuta and John Okoro, who are currently in the custody of the DSS might be arraigned in court today, October 10.
In a related development, former aviation minister and erstwhile spokesperson for the Goodluck Jonathan presidential campaign organization, Femi Fani-Kayode says Nigeria is in trouble following the abduction like arrest of judges across different states by operatives of the DSS.
Reacting through a statement made available to NAIJ.com, Femi Fani-Kayode said it is time for Nigerians to stand up against the Buhari led APC government.