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A Lagos-based Lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, has filed a suit against President Muhammadu Buhari, the Department of State Services, DSS, and its Director-General, DG, Lawal Daura, along with others, for allegedly violating the rights of Judges, whose houses were raided by the DSS operatives, between October 8 and 9.
He alleged that the arrest of the Judges without recourse to the National Judicial Council, NJC, was unlawful, and amounted to humiliating them.
He said the DSS operations violated the rights of Judges, under sections 33, 34, 35, 36, and 41 of the Constitution.
The plaintiff sought 10 prayers, among which is an order awarding N50 billion, against the defendants, as “general and exemplary damages”.
He also sought to be awarded N2 million, as the cost of the suit; an order compelling the DSS to return to the Judges the sums of money recovered from them; and perpetual injunction, restraining the defendants from arresting, inviting, intimidating, or harassing the Judges with respect to the case.
The DSS, had earlier arrested and detained Justices Sylvester Ngwuta, and John Okoro, of the Supreme Court; Justice Adeniyi Ademola, of the Federal High Court, Abuja, and Justice Muazu Pindiga, of the Federal High Court, Gombe Division, over alleged corrupt practices.
The DSS, said it recovered large sums of money in Nigerian and foreign currencies, during the raid on the houses of the seven Judicial Officers.


However, Ogungbeje’s suit is restricted to five of the arrested Judges, who are still in active service, namely, Justices Ngwuta, Okoro, Ademola, Pindiga, and Dimgba.
The plaintiff contended in his suit, that the raid on the residences of the Judges, and their arrest, was unconstitutional.
He maintained that the arrest of the Judges did not follow the law.
He stated in a 39-paragraph affidavit, which he deposed to in support of the suit: “That the 1st (President Buhari), 2nd (DG of DSS), 3rd (DSS), 4th (AGF), and 5th (Inspector-General of Police) respondents against there is no petition by the affected to the 6th respondent (NJC).
“That the 6th respondent is the only body empowered by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to discipline Judges and Judicial Officers in Nigeria.
“That the Judiciary is an independent arm of government in Nigeria, and separate from the Executive and the Legislature.
“That this illegal and unconstitutional action by the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th respondents, have been roundly condemned by the Nigerian Bar Association.
“That the 2nd (DG of DSS), 3rd (DSS), and 5th (IGP) respondents, carried out their action, which brazenly infringed upon the rights of the affected five Judges, without lawful excuse, or recourse to the 6th respondent”.

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