Justice Okon Abang under security surveillance, may be arrested next week
Reports reaching us confirm that Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja has been placed on security surveillance by security agents and may be arrested next week.
A judiciary source told us that this followed National Judicial Commission (NJC) review of high profile cases involving Justice Okon Abang, with specific reference to the Abia Governorship crises and PDP chairmanship tussle between the Sheriff and Markarfi factions.
The source revealed that after obtaining details of the judgement delivered by Justice Abang in both cases the NJC was baffled that a Judge of a Federal High Court can reach such verdicts without compromising himself. The leadership of NJC decided to quietly alert the security authorities to monitor financial transactions involving the judge and his family members.
Security authorities were said to have traced one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) moved to a bank in the Republic of Chad by a politician known to be close to Abang. Another $200,000.00 was lodged into the same account 2 days before Justice Abang ruled on the intra-party tussle in PDP.
Following the ruling by Justice Abang, PDP National Caretaker Committee circulated a press release signed by the party’s spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, accusing him of “deliberately engaging in acts of derailing the country’s democracy” and described his ruling as “strange”. According the party, “he has penchant for abuse of court processes and actions of legal impunity”.
The first money (one million dollars) was said to have been received by Justce Abang around the 24th of June 2016 at a high brow Abuja Hotel from one of the litigants in the Abia Governorship tussle and subsequently moved to Chad using a private jet belonging to the politician involved in both cases.
It would be recalled that the NJC few weeks ago sacked Justice Yinusa and others over the same allegation of bad conduct Abang is now facing. The NJC is awaiting final reports from security agencies before sacking and arresting him.
Meanwhile, a reliable source at the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) revealed to us that all five Appeal Court panel members handling the Abia Governorship tussle are currently under security surveillance following the discovery that one of the panel members had meetings with Senator Modu Sheriff, Justice Abang, Dr Uche Ogah and Olagoke Fakunle yesterday night at a hotel in Abuja after proceedings of the appeal court was concluded and judgement reserved for an undisclosed date.
The source confirmed that as soon as investigations are concluded the principal actors will be arrested alongside INEC officials, including the Director of Litigation and the commissioner representing the South East, Mr Lawrence Woruku.
President Buhari instructed the office of the national security adviser to set up a special monitoring team to stem corruption in the judiciary which he believes is affecting his anti-corruption war. The President is said to be angry that corruption in the judiciary is making it difficult for him to recover hundreds of billions of Naira looted by key officials of the former PDP-led Government of Goodluck Jonathan.