Friday, 21 October 2016

One of the arrested Judge make U-tune, blast Amaechi over Fayose election

While i was  arrested by  DSS.

Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court yesterday accused the former Governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, of begging him in 2013 to set aside the election of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State.
He said this was to allow for a fresh election in which his friend and former Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, was involved. Amaechi has denied the allegation. Justice Ngwuta is one of the two Supreme Court justices that were arrested and released on bail by the Department of State Services (DSS) over alleged corruption. This will be the second time in one week when Amaechi will be accused of complicity in governorship appeals.

Justice Inyang Okoro had on Tuesday accused Amaechi and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of attempting to bribe him to influence Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Abia governorship appeals. Ngwuta’s allegation was contained in a letter he wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman, National Judicial Council (NJC), Justice Mahmud Mohammed. A top source in the office of the CJN confirmed the receipt of the letter.

Ngwuta wrote: “My present plight started sometime between 2013 and 2014. I represented the then Chief Justice of Nigeria in an event organised at 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 6:45a.m. 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 one vote.”

He further submitted that after the Rivers State governorship election was determined by the Court of Appeal, Amaechi called him and said his ears were full and he would like to tell him 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. “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 4:20p.m. The moment I got into my chambers, 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,” he stated. Justice Ngwuta further stated that the people who failed in their attempt to destroy him 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 him for his negative response to his demands, especially his 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.” Justice Ngwuta also accused the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, of making attempt to compromise him on the Ebonyi State governorship poll.

His words: “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 (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.

“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 fiveman panel to hear the ap- peal. 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.”

Giving the details of the monies allegedly recovered in his house by the DSS, Justice Ngwuta stated that in the process of searching the house, one of the DSS operatives saw the sum of N40,000 and N1,000 notes in one of the drawers and that 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 N40,000.” He denied allegation that huge sums were recovered from his house. The apex court justice said he was surprised where the DSS got the money.

“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… 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.

“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 briefcases 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…

“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.” he stated.

Meanwhile, Amaechi has denied the allegation against him. He said he never made attempt to influence judgement of the court in respect of the governorship appeal in Ekiti. His words: “The Hon. Justice Ngwuta’s allegation as it concerns Amaechi is nothing but pure fiction, a dubious diversionary tale concocted to muddle the very serious issues of his arrest and investigation by the DSS.

“For emphasis, we want to state categorically that Amaechi did not and has never tried to lobby, induce or make the Hon. Justice Ngwuta to influence the outcome of any matter before the Supreme Court or any other court. The Hon. Justice Ngwuta’s narrative as it concerns Amaechi is simply not true, an unadulterated fallacy designed to deceive and distract from the real issues of DSS investigation of acts of corruption against him.

“It’s indeed very sad and most unfortunate that Justice Ngwuta had decided to drag the name of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), into his fabricated allegations. Again, We make bold to state that Amaechi did not and has never lobbied, approached or attempted to make the CJN or any other justice of the apex court to influence the Supreme Court judgement on the Rivers State and Ekiti State governorship elections petition appeals or any other matter before the apex court or any other court.”

The minister stated that the allegation against him was politically motivated. “Within a space of 48 hours, we have observed a carefully planned and coordinated political attempt to drag Amaechi into the DSS arrest and investigation of judges in Nigeria.

The aim of the plot is two-fold: To smear and politically destroy the image and reputation of Amaechi and, deceitfully portray him as the person behind the arrest of judges. This is indeed most ridiculous and callous.

“We are aware of a welltimed, heavily funded plot to “take out” Amaechi politically and it appears that Justice Ngwuta and Justice Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court, have wittingly or unwittingly been conscripted into this devious politics of “destroy Amaechi by all means,” Amaechi said. The minister said he “is talking with his lawyers and will explore lawful channels to seek redress for this gross defamation against his character and person.”