The police have arrested 14 persons in connection with the raid on the home of Mary Odili, a justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
One of those arrested is Lawrence Ajodo, the officer in charge of Assets Recovery Investigation Team of the Ministry of Justice.
Parading the suspects in Abuja, the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, described Ajodo as a fake Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP).
However, an Identity Card of the Police for Assets Recovery unit signed by Abubakar Malami (SAN), Attorney-General of the Federation says Ajodo is the OIC Investigation of the team.
His ID Card number seen by SaharaReporters is 001.
A contributing editor with one of the national dailies, Stanley Nkwazema, and an Islamic scholar were also arrested, Mba said.
He added that 10 other suspects, including two military personnel, are currently at large.
Armed operatives had on October 30 stormed Odili’s residence bearing a warrant that was issued based on information from a whistle-blower, Aliyu Umar, an Abuja-based resident.
Umar had deposed on October 13 that illegal activities were going on at 9, Imo Street, Maitama which should warrant immediate action from law enforcement agents.
Odili is next in line to Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad and stands to benefit from his removal should that happen before her retirement on May 12, 2022.
Sources said the raid, approved by Malami (SAN) was to let her know she would not be allowed to succeed Muhammad as the head of the nation’s judiciary.
Odili, who was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court on June 23, 2011, was born on May 12, 1952.
It means she will be due for retirement by May 12, 2022, on turning 70.
But Muhammad, who was appointed a supreme court judge in 2006 and sworn in on January 8, 2007, was born on December 31, 1953 — meaning he is younger than Justice Odili and will not retire until 2023 when he turns 70.
Another source had said, “Regarding the raid on Odili’s House, it was planned because they don’t want her to become the next CJN. Though she’s retiring in about six months, that is like six years to the cabal. They are planning to remove Tanko Muhammad before then and don’t want the woman to even act as CJN for one day.
“The most senior Justice after Odili is Olukayode Ariwoola but they claim he’s got a terminal illness. He is expected to retire soon on health grounds. The fourth most senior of the Justices who could take over as CJN is Musa Dattijo Muhammad, another Northerner from Niger State. He is also expected to retire in 2023.
“They accused Odili of being a PDP (opposition party – Peoples Democratic Party) judge and that her husband helps to fix lots of judgements at their home in Abuja. That was why the husband was also embarrassed recently.
“Forget also about Malami’s denials, he was directly in charge of the raid. He chose the day President Muhammadu Buhari arrived from Saudi Arabia to do it because he needed to impress Buhari that he is still loyal as efforts are being intensified to remove him as Minister.
“They want to force Tanko out soon and don’t want the woman to replace him. They considered her too close to the PDP, so they have to embarrass her to ensure she doesn’t get to replace him at all.”