Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, a judge of the supreme court, says the raid by the Department of State Services (DSS) on his home was because he did not influence appeals from the Ekiti and Rivers elections in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a letter dated October 18 and addressed to Mahmoud Mohammed, the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ngwuta said Amaechi told him that President Muhammadu Buhari was angry because the Rivers governorship election went in favour of Nyesom Wike.
He further said that the DSS planted the said money found in his residence.
“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,” Ngwuta said.
“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 6:45am. He said he had to 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 in the evening but the following morning when I was already prepared for 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 even if I’m on the panel I have only one vote.
“After the River 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.
‘OGA WAS NOT HAPPY’
“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 it 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 was 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’.
“I was speechless when I saw them bringing out huge bundles of different currencies from bags that had contained only magazine papers and old clothes and some were empty. 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 denominations of naira notes. No one asked me any suggestion about the huge sums of money they put in the bags.”
The judge said Ogbonnaya Onu, minister of science and technology had also met him to influence an appeal from the Abia state governorship election.
“The incident I will narrate below may or may not bear on this day. When the governorship election appeal from my state, Ebonyi, came to the court of appeal, one Mr. Igweneyi, 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 to see him, Dr. Onu,” he said.
“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.”
However, Amaechi has denied the allegations saying that he had never met any judge to influence decisions of a court.
“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,” the statement from Amaechi’s media office read.
“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 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.’
“Amaechi is not and cannot be behind the arrest and investigation of the Hon. Justice Ngwuta. He should kindly leave Amaechi alone and face the issues he has with the DSS. Amaechi is talking with his lawyers and will explore lawful channels to seek redress for this gross defamation against his character and person.”
Ngwuta’s allegations is coming after Justice John Okoro alleged that Amaechi had approached him to compromise the governorship election appeals from Akwa Ibom, Abia and River states.