A day after he named his traducers, Justice Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court has been urged to stop deceiving Nigerians with “lies” on his arrest by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Justice Okoro had on Tuesday accused former Rivers State Governor and current Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and the Akwa Ibom State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 elections, Umana Okon Umana, of influencing his arrest because he did not influence their appeals at the apex court.
But in a reaction, Umana described as baseless, allegations by Justice Okoro that he and APC attempted to induce the judge to swing the ruling of the Supreme Court in their favour.
Okoro had in a letter he wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed on his arrest and invasion of his Abuja residence, said that Amaechi and Umana visited him along with a clergyman, Ebebe Ukpong, in an attempt to induce him to manipulate the ruling on the Akwa Ibom governorship election petition in their favour.
The DSS had visited Justice Okoro’s home in Abuja to conduct a search on October 7 and 8 as part of its investigation in the case of alleged corruption and abuse of office levelled against him.
At the end of the operation, the SSS said they found $38,800 and N3.5 million in cash as well as other documents pertaining to its investigation.
According to Umana, “no such meeting to discuss how to bribe judges took place between him and Pastor Ebebe Ukpong as alleged.”
Umana, in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Iboro Otongaran, said: “If we assume, without conceding, such a meeting took place, for a man of Justice Okoro’s standing and knowledge of the law, he ought to have known the legal implications of such a visit, and should have reported to the appropriate authorities immediately. He did not do that, but is only reacting after the authorities have established a case against him.”
Otongaran said that Umana had no appeal before the Supreme Court from any court judgment on the 2015 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State, having won his case at the tribunal and Court of Appeal.
“Umana was therefore confident of victory at the Supreme Court, because of the concurrent judgments of the lower courts. But, the Supreme Court judgment had ignored the concurrent judgments at both the tribunal and the Court of Appeal,” he said.
Also, yesterday, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), accused the National Judicial Council (NJC) of misleading Nigerians by claiming it acted on all the petitions alleging misconduct against judges.
He said contrary to the claim of the NJC, there are at least 12 other petitions against many judges, all of which, the group said, were not appropriately treated by the council.
Justice Okoro confirms The AUTHORITY’s exclusive story
Justice John Inyang Okoro, one of the Supreme Court Justices, whose homes were penultimate week invaded by the DSS over alleged corruption, has confirmed an exclusive story published in the November 8, 2015 of The AUTHORITY on Sunday.
The news story titled: “How APC plans to capture South-South, North Central”, contained excerpts of a document entitled “Political Penetration Strategy: South-South/North Central Strategy Plan, Draft” dated August 2015 prepared the party.
The document hitherto referred to by our news medium, outlined the “capture” plans to include shuffling of security apparati in the zones and the redeployment of top officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), especially in Rivers, Bayelsa and Kogi states and their replacement with the commission’s officials from nearby Imo State.
Justice Okoro, who has been granted bail and released, said he was humiliated by the Federal Government for his courageous stance against overtures purportedly made to him by Amaechi to allegedly influence the decisions of the apex court in the appeals involving the governorship elections in Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Abia states in the 2015 general elections.
Justice Okoro made these assertions in a letter he wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, on October 17, 2016.
The referenced document which was obtained by The AUTHORITY indicated that the top notch of the APC had declared that “it was politically and economically suicidal for the country that all the key resource-bearing states, are in the hands of the opposition” and therefore must be retrieved.