A Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, has said the operatives of the Department of State Services who arrested him last week Friday mistook him for two other judges but still insisted on arresting him.
Justice Dimgba said this in a protest letter he sent to the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Chairman of the National Judicial Council, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, over his arrest by the DSS.
Dimgba said he was mistaken for Justice Inyang Okoro and Justice Adeniyi Ademola.
He said despite the fact that he proved to the DSS operatives that he was none of the two judges, they still went ahead not only to harass and search his house without a warrant, but equally beat his relative and driver to a pulp.
He stated in the letter to Justice Mohammed: “When I asked, they first presented me with a search warrant for a No. 19 Ogbemudia Crescent, Apo Legislative Quarters, Zone E and which had a John Inyang Okoro as defendant. When I explained to them that my house address was not No. 19 Ogbemudia Crescent, Apo Legislative Quarters, Zone E, and that my name was certainly not John Inyang Okoro, on the search warrant, the DSS team leader explained that there was a mix-up, and then presented me with another search warrant for 30 Ogbemudia Crescent, Apo Legislative Quarters, Zone E, but which had A.F.A Ademola as the defendant.
“When I also explained that I was not A.F.A Ademola but that my name was Justice Dimgba, the DSS team leader stated that whatever was the case, they (the DSS) were under instructions from above to search Justice Nnamdi Dimgba’s house.”
Dimgba’s residence is separated by a fence from that of Justice Ademola, who was also arrested and has equally protested to the CJN.
Dimgba said his ordeal started on September 16, 2016 when the DSS invited and detained his Registrar at their office in Abuja.
He said the registrar was re-invited on September 26, 2016.
He said the registrar was detained, her phones seized and the operatives of the DSS “threatened her to provide them with testimonies that could implicate me in the performance of my official duties”.
He said his house was “invaded” by a team of over 20 operatives of the DSS in about five operational vehicles without a search warrant.
He said he tried to resist the search because the operation was not backed by a search warrant and later managed to “seek refuge in the garden” in an adjacent premises.
Dimgba added in the letter: “I endured the whole ordeal in this open garden as my neighbour was away.
“Thereafter, the DSS operatives turned on my nephew, who resides with me, and my driver, beat them to a pulp with guns, and forced their way into and ransacked the entire house in the course of execution of a non-existent search warrant.”
Dimgba said the DSS operatives went away with his work bag “containing a number of case files which I had planned to work on for the weekend in relation to judgments adjourned, the power cable of my laptop and also my copy of the reply dated September 4, 2016, which I had sent to the NJC to the DSS’ petition against me”.
He added in the letter to the NJC: “I pray, my Lord, for your intervention to: stop these acts of harassment and intimidation against me by the DSS; and
“Ensure the immediate return of these seized case files and my answer to their petition to me. Not returning the case files makes it almost impossible for me to proceed with the completion of the judgments.
“I also wish to state that I intend to commence legal proceedings in court against the DSS for the above brazen violations of my rights, unless my Lord otherwise advises.”