Details have emerged on how over 60 well-armed operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) stormed the Abuja homes of two judges of the Federal High Court – Adeniyi Ademola and Nnamdi Dimgba late Friday night.
Also reportedly raided by DSS operatives was the house of a judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta.
Sources close to Ademola and Dimgba said that the operation began at about 8pm Friday night when a convoy of black Nissan Frontier sport utility vehicles (jeeps) belonging to the DSS pulled by the houses of both judges at Ogbemudia Crescent in Zone E part of the Apo legislators’ quarters.
Justice Ademola, whose grandfather, the Late Justice Ademola Adetokunbo was the first indigenous Attorney General of the Federation, lives close to Justice Dimgba at Ogbemudia Crescent.
The team was led by an officer dressed in flowing gown popularly called ‘agbada’.
According to the aide, no sooner had the officer alighted from the first operations vehicle than he walked towards the gates, with a list in hand, screaming, “Where is Justice Ademola? Where is Justice Dimgba?”
According to the security guards present at the time of the operation, the moment the boss began calling out the judges, the armed DSS operatives scaled the fence and headed for the main entrance of the twin duplexes.
It was gathered that Justice Dimgba’s guard told the SSS operatives who scaled the fence that the judge was not at home but dissatisfied with the explanation, the operatives demanded the key to the house.
According to him, “I told them Oga went out with the key. They didn’t believe me. They asked for his driver. When the driver – John Abba – identified himself, they began to hit him with their guns, asking him to produce his master.
“This is a man who was just discharged from hospital. When the driver could not tell them what they wanted to hear, they began to ask for any member of his family.
“I pointed to his nephew, Ifeanyi. At this point they stopped beating the driver and focussed on Ifeanyi. They thoroughly beat him up.
“They then conducted bodily search on him and found the spare key in Ifeanyi’s pocket. They asked him to continue to do frog-jump, and then proceeded to ransack the whole house.”
Justice Ademola was not that lucky. He was at home during the operations and family sources claimed that the DSS details attached to the judge may have given him away to their superiors.
The guards who were around recounted that Justice Ademola was psychologically tortured by the operatives who spent close to an hour breaking down the main entrance door.
“Oga was sleeping when they came. He wasn’t feeling too well earlier, and told me not to welcome any visitor. When they forced their way in, they began using steel bars to force the door open.
“When they realised that the door was too strong, they sent for reinforcement. About 30 minutes later, another truck came with a battering ram. That was what they used to bring down the door.
“When they finally entered the main building, they headed for his bedroom where they used the ram to force open the door.
“From about 10pm, when they finally got into his bedroom, till about 5:30 am when they took him (Ademola) away, they forced him to take them round the entire building,” recalled a guard.
Justice Ademola’s Personal Assistant, Ken, said the judge was humiliated by the operatives, who compelled him to open up every part of the duplex.
At every stage, he said, the operatives forced him to witness photo shots of what they called exhibits.
According to the aide, Justice Ademola’s mobile telephones were seized, even as they didn’t allow him take his medication along.
This, he said, has thrown the family into panic as the judge has a medical condition, which he however refused to disclose.