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Justice Adeniyi Ademola: I Signed DSS Confessional Statement at Gunpoint

One of the seven Nigerian judges arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) in recent raids, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, has opened up on the encounter, claiming that the service forced him to sign a document at gunpoint.
In a letter addressed to the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mahmud Mohammed dated October 11, 2016, which was obtained by the media, Ademola fingered the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, of being behind his ordeal as a revenge over losing his first opportunity to be made Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
The letter reads in part

“Report on the Unlawful Invasion of the Resident of Hon. Justice Adeniyi Francis Ademola on the 7th of October 2016 and My Abduction,” Ademola stated that 

He noted that 45 DSS’ officials arrived his residence on or about 12 a.m. on that fateful day. He said:

 “I was awoken by loud sound of banging, breaking and hitting on my front door. This gave me a lot of fear as I thought whoever was banging and hitting at my door were armed robbers or thieves especially because this was at an ungodly hour of the night.”

“I saw at about 45 masked officers of the State Security Services, all heavily armed pointing their guns at me,” he said.

“They flashed a document purported to be a search warrant and ordered me to sign a document claiming that they had already conducted a search downstairs.“They also added that I was totally under their control today as I have always made orders against them,” 

“For and interest of my life, and unknown persons with mask on their faces, I collected the written items and signed the document.
“Upon signing the document, they told me that I am under arrest and ordered me with guns still pointed at me to move outside. As I was going, they told me they were taking me to their office, Department of State Services office, without showing any warrant of arrest.
“I obeyed them and about six o’clock in the morning, I was whisked away from my residence to the DSS office without any warrant of arrest or reason for my arrest. From the time of my arrival at the DSS office, at about 6:45am on 8/10/2016, I was not told what my crime was for over 24 hours till the evening of 9/10/2016.
“A DSS official finally informed me that the search of my house and arrest were based on these three allegations: petition of Hon. Jenkins Duvie dated 4th of April 2016 to the National Judicial Council; granting bail to Col. Sambo Dasuki and the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu; and using my office to secure my wife’s appointment as the head of civil service through Senator Bola Tinubu.

“What is more intriguing in this whole episode, is that I see it as a vendetta/revenge from the Hon. attorney general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, whilst I was in Kano between 2004 and 2007 as a federal high court judge was involved in a professional misconduct necessitating his arrest and detention by my order,” 

“However, with the intervention of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Kano Branch, the allegation of misconduct was later withdrawn by me.

“Consequently, the National Judicial Council (NJC) referred Abubakar Malami (SAN) to the NBA Disciplinary Committee for disciplinary action,” 

“It was as a result of this he was denied the Rank of SAN by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee for a period of four years until as and when he produced a fake letter of apology, purportedly addressed to me.

“It was then he was conferred with the rank. Since the above incident, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has threatened to revenge and swore to do anything to bring me down,” 

”My Lord, with this infringement of my fundamental right, I seek for the leave to commence an action against the State Security Service to enforce my right that was breached,” Mr. Ademola said.

Supreme Court judges, Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta were arrested in Abuja. Federal High Court judges, Mr. Ademola and Mohammed Tsamiya were also arrested in Abuja.
Others arrested included, Kabir Auta, Kano; Muazu Pindiga, Gombe; and Innocent Umezulike in Enugu.
All the seven judges were released on self-recognisance while agents prepare charges for their arraignment.

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