Justice Adeniyi Ademola, a Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, was probably snoring on the night of October 7, 2016, when operatives from the Department of State Security (DSS), stormed his cozy apartment and waved a search warrant in his face.
Ademola was one of a handful of Judges whose homes were raided on the night.
According to a statement from the DSS in the wake of the raids, “the searches uncovered huge raw cash of various denominations, local and foreign currencies, with real estate worth several millions of Naira and documents affirming unholy acts by these Judges. Meanwhile, some of them have made useful statements while a few have declined even with the glaring evidences that were found against them in terms of material cash, documents and property recovered pointing to their compromise”.
The Judges were granted bail a few hours later and according to information available to Pulse, the prosecution is working frantically behind the scenes to have them arraigned in the following days.
One of the arrested Judges said some of the monies found on him came from his Rice and Palm Oil business.
A few of the Justices have since returned to the bench, carrying on like nothing happened.
Days after the raid, Ademola wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria to say he had been unfairly attacked by the DSS.
Ademola also said he has been targeted by the federal government for his previous rulings in the cases involving IPOB (Independent People of Biafra) leader, Nnamdi Kanu and former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.
However, there was some more drama to the tale on Tuesday, October 18, when Ademola said he would no longer be hearing Dasuki’s case. In other words, he was withdrawing from the case.
Ademola has been accused of receiving money from Dasuki in order to grant the latter bail.
Dasuki is standing trial for money laundering, misappropriation of funds meant for arms procurement and gun-running, among other charges.
In court on Tuesday, Ademola announced his decision without mincing words.
“I am sure you are conversant with what has been going on in the last seven days. One of the allegations being made against me is that I received some money from Sambo Dasuki. This is the allegation of the SSS”, said the Judge.
“I thought I should tell the counsel what is being said,” Ademola said, before turning to Dasuki.
“Before I announce my decision, let me ask the defendant (Dasuki) some questions”, he continued.
“Do you know me at all?”, Ademola asked Dasuki.
“No, not at all…at least before I came before this court”, said Dasuki.
Ademola wasn’t done. “Did you at any time give me money?”
“Not that I am aware of”, Dasuki said.
“Did you send your lawyers to give me money…Did you give money to any of my relatives?
Again, Dasuki answered in the negative.
Justice Ademola thereafter announced that with the allegations of corruption levelled against him, he would be stepping down from Dasuki’s case.
A yet to be named Judge will now hear the case of the Federal Government against Dasuki.