Another Supreme Court Justice Accuses Amaechi of Trying to Manipulate Judgements

A few days after Justice Inyang Okoro accused the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, of seeking to manipulate a court judgement, another senior justice has made similar allegations.

Justice Sylvester Ungwuta, also of the Supreme Court, accused Amaechi of attempting to manipulate him to rule in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in an election case.

The two accusers, Messrs. Okoro and Ungwuta, are the most senior among the seven judges arrested a fortnight ago for alleged corruption by the State Security Service, SSS. They judges are on bail.

Like Justice Okoro, Justice Ungwuta also addressed his letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

In the letter, Mr. Ungwuta narrated his version of how he was arrested by SSS officials. He accused the agency of “planting huge sums of money” in his house when it was searched.

Apart from accusing Amaechi of plotting to manipulate him to rule in favour of the APC in the Ekiti election dispute, Justice Ungwuta also accused the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, of also seeking his help to manipulate an election hearing.

Below is how the Judge chronicled his encounters with Rotimi Amaechi:
15. 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. 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 6.45 am. 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 am on the panel I have only my one vote. 
16. 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 is 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. 
17. Your Lordship may recall one morning when I pleaded not 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 pm. 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.
Strangely, none of the two judges provided any reasons why they did not report the allegations to law enforcement agencies, as required by law, before their arrest for corruption.