Another judge blames Chibuike Amaechi for arrest by DSS

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi

• ‘He begged me to void Fayose’s election’
• Judicial officer says Onu tried to influence judgment
• Allegation mere fiction, minister insists

Another judge, Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court has blamed his ordeal on the former governor of Rivers State and now, Minister of Transport, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

Ngwuta is one of the two Supreme Court justices arrested recently by the Department of State Services (DSS) for alleged corrupt practices. His allegation came barely three days after another embattled justice of the Supreme Court, John Inyang Okoro linked his travails to his refusal to do the bidding of Amaechi.

Justice Ngwuta, in a letter addressed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, explained that his problem dated back to 2014 when Amaechi approached him to set aside Ayo Fayose’s election in order to make way for the former governor of Ekiti State and now Minister of Solid Mineral, Kayode Fayemi.

The justice said: “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.

“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 a.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 was on the panel, I had only my one vote.

“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 was 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.”The justice added that he was a victim of his resolve not to violate his oath of office.

“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 exonerated.

“Your Lordship may recall one morning, when I pleaded not to 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 p.m. 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.

This infuriated him and as he stormed out he said he would deal with the situation.”Justice Ngwuta also narrated how a former governor of Abia State, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu allegedly pleaded that he (Ngwuta) should help to speak to the President of the Court of Appeal in his (Onu) bid to influence the verdict in an appeal.

Justice Ngwuta also denied knowledge of the amount said to have been found in his house.“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.”
 
However, Amaechi’s media aide, David Iyofor said Justice Ngwuta’s allegation is nothing but pure fiction, a dubious diversionary tale concocted to muddle the very serious issues of his arrest and investigation by the Department of State Services (DSS).

He said: “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 design 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 the Hon. Justice Ngwuta had decided to drag the name of the Honourable 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 judgment on the Rivers State and Ekiti State Governorship Elections petition appeals or any other matter before the apex court or any other court.

“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.”

According to him, there is a well timed, heavily funded plot to “take out” Amaechi politically, and “it appears that Justice Ngwuta and Justice Inyang Okoro (of the Supreme Court, who had also made similar made-up allegations against Amaechi), have wittingly or unwittingly been conscripted into this devious politics of “destroy Amaechi by all means.”

He insisted that Amaechi is not and cannot be behind the arrest and investigation of Justice Ngwuta. “ Amaechi is talking with his lawyers and will explore lawful channels to seek redress for this gross defamation against his character and person,” he declared.
 
Attempts to reach Onu for comments were unsuccessful as his telephone line was in forwarding mode. When contacted, his Personal Assistant, Mr. Sonni Onyeukwu, promised to get back to The Guardian but did not at the time of filing this report.

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21 Comments
  • Kehinde

    Why Amaechi Amaechi Amaechi all the time? Our leaders should, please, save Nigerians from all these embarrassments. POLITICIANS + JUDICIARY = SHAME in 9ja, quite unfortunate.

  • Fair listener

    Let cross examine his lordship a little.
    1. Was it the same Amaechi that lodge those amount in your house too,
    2. Do you have documented evidence on these allegations?
    3. What were such huge amount of money in different denominations doing in a residential house, are you not having a bank account?
    I put it to that….

    • O F

      That can easily be arranged by Amaechi who used Rivers State Govt. money to fund APC election.

      • Temmytope

        Hmm, What a fast conclusion! were you there? Do you have proof for that or you were impacted with rumor? Were you the one that collected cheque each time Amaechi signs for money to finance APC or how are you so sure? It is high time we started speaking facts and figures with evidences not hearsay! My prayer is – nobody that in one way or the other, has contributed to the predicament and the situation of Nigeria, will find a space to hide. Is them that will be expose themselves.

  • Nigerian politics “ONE STEP FORWARD TWO STEPS BACKWARD” All the gains made towards a free and fair election in Nigeria by GEJ are being twarted by this current administartion . To Rule by all means. Why is every Judge accusing Amechi, Buhari and Onu? Try to subvert Justice yet fighting corruption for us. I s this the change we voted for?? How can all these details be a concocted one? Even accusations from two Judges Amechi should resign

  • The judges can’t all be lieing .
    Meanwhile play games and earn rewards.
    Pls
    Pre-register now
    https://www.firefan.com/?code=naija241

  • Olori Magege

    Amaechi again and again. At least we can check the phone log at the network to confirm if Amaechi made those calls. But one thing is certain; Amaechi will accelerate the fall of PMB regime

  • Dejoe

    Amaechi should step down while investigation is properly done. These two allegations cannot just be mere fabrications. He’s not the only politician in APC. This shows the kind of things they did with INEC officials under Jega to usher in this government. The CJN is still alive to confirm whether he was informed about those ungodly visits or not. Its not difficult to found out since the justices are mentioning other names and giving vivid description of what transpired. But I’m very sure and certain Buhari will do nothing about all these, you can bet it!

  • vic

    AMAECHI IS A CROOK AND A THIEF. IT IS ALL WRITTEN ON HIS FACE WHICH HE CANNOT HIDE. HE SHOULD PROCEED ON COMPULSORY LEAVE WHILE INVESTIGATIONS ARE ON.

  • O F

    Buhari can’t do anything to Amaechi. He has a lot of beans he can spill. Spilling the beans about funding APC election alone is enough to finish Buhari politically not only in Nigeria,but worldwide. He(Amaechi) has the evidence,he has the documents. Just listen to what Buhari’s wife is saying.

  • OFFISSA-IN-CHARGE

    Justice Ngwuta’s story appears very credible. Rotimi Amaechi is a well-known corrupt minister, and was a celebrated corrupt governor of Rivers State. He has his fingerprints in so many shady, and corrupt activities. It is a pity and shame that this was one of the men that took President Buhari over six months to find to be a minister. In a decent society, Mr. Ngwuta’s story would be investigated by forensic experts. President Buhari should invite the FBI’s forensic experts to validate Justice Ngwuta’s alleged phone conversations with Amaechi. I have no doubt that Amaechi is culpable in this matter. His continued retention as a minister only makes mockery of the anti-corruption policy of Buhari’s government. A Corrupt does not fight corruption!

  • CF Okeke

    Amaechi’s name which means tomorrow is unknown kept on coming from different quarters. He should examine his conscience and tell Nigerians his roles in elections results cases. He was mentioned for Bayelsa state election manipulation refusal by a known Niger Delta warlord, hence the current warlord ordeals with the FG.
    The Judges are calling his name now, that their current ordeals as a result of their refusal to grant him the request for election results rigging. When a pickin is crying and pointing at something, the right thing is to check what the pickin is pointing at. The FG should not ignore to find out the roles Amaechi played in Nigerian elections bribes. This will give the current fight against corruptions good credibility. Truth is bitter but have to be said to save this country

  • St-Kenny Mudiaga

    This stinks. I wouldn’t put it beyond Amaechi. My question is, are our judges so stupid they could not secretly record such conversations? Especially when it happened more than once? Shouldn’t a judge know that mere accusations should never be used to convict anyone?

  • Pa Shakede Oinah

    Amaechi and others are part of the corrupt system hence they know those that can be compromised. If the judge is the strict and straightforward type, Amaechi will not dare attempt to influence him. He therefore should give the other side of the story i.e. the cases he had compromised in the past.

  • sammy728

    All crooks. They can’t just single him out of d blue. there is no credibility in this Amaechi background. he became governor without an election, election of the governor forum mess, he was the leader of the governors during OBJ time that vigorously advocated for spending the excess crude oil money, and the story goes on. What a shame.

  • Mosley

    This same Amaechi asked for the closure of the Maritime University. During his tenure as governor, the court in River state were under lock and key. Amaechi is not clean, this man should be investigated now and if this govt fails to do it, another govt will do it and bring this man to book.

  • Prince Jude Onuchima

    This is what happens when you produce one gigantic realty show in the name of fighting corruption. You want to investigate somebody, you first announced his arrest and then the investigation starts with public accusations, trial, condemnation and calcification even before judgement is handled by the relevant authority. That is why you will have an amount supposedly discovered in a judges house already announced in the social media while the search is still going on. That is

  • Prince Jude Onuchima

    In crime detection, there is what is called decimal occurrences. It directs you to the unseen hands of the 5th element. Why is the name Amechi the 5th element in the Judges saga. it’s time the pendulum swung to the investigation of Mr Amechi. There are names, places, time and events to warrant a thorough investigation. The Attorney General that authorised this arrest, was there no detailed investigative report to warrant culpability. God

  • isaac orogun

    The NJC should be
    cautious in their investigation of the corrupt allegations that have been
    brought against these judges in the light of their claims of persecution for
    refusal be induced to pervert justice in electoral matters. It must be recalled
    how a just and honest judge, Justice
    Salami, the erstwhile president of the Appeal court was suspended from office in 2011 for two good
    years for refusal to carry out instructions by his boss – Justice Aloysiu Katsina Alu to alter the ruling of tribunal Judges
    under him who had presided in petitions that arose from governorship elections
    in which they ruled against the candidates of the then ruling PDP in Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and Osun States in 2007. Though the panel of reputable justices set up to
    look into the matter had cleared and ordered his reinstatement to office, he was
    not till he retired in 2013. But he left his foot prints on the sand of time.

    Therefore these
    judges should be carefully listened to and each case treated fairly and on its
    merit. It is doubtful if these Judges are telling lies against Rotimi Amechi.

  • Idongesit Umoren

    The issue is, why wait till you are arrested for an alleged crime before you bring up this accusation? As far as there is no evidence to prove your point, Amaechi will continue to deny such act even though we all know he is capable of such. But it is too late to cry foul when you would have exposed him earlier. This can just be seen as self defense except there is proof.

  • daodu makanjuola

    THE QUESTION IS ,ARE THESE JUDGES FOUND WANTING OF THE ALLEGATION OF CORRUPTION , IF SO LET THEM BEAR THE BRUNT. WHY ARE THEY BEGGING THE QUESTION, WHY WOULDN’T THEY SAY THIS TO THE PUBLIC EVER BEFORE, NEVER MIND THE UNFIT AND CORRUPT JUDGES.

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