Seeing her case would not get deserved treatment at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, retired Justice Gladys Olotu had to apply for transfer of her suit against the EFCC and 17 others that orchestrated her untimely retirement in 2014.
Justice Abdul-Kafarati earlier presided over her suit against President Goodluck Jonathan and four others. But Olotu observed he was biased the way he went about the issue of jurisdiction, and that she didn’t stand a dog’s chance getting justice in his court.
“In the judgement which Justice Kafarati delivered in Justice Gunmi’s case on March 17, 2015, he held that he had jurisdiction to hear the case,” Olotu said in her application in February.
In the judgement he delivered in my case on October 7, 2016, he made a colte face, and overturned his earlier decision in Justice Gunmi’s case.
Gunmi, then, was another victim of ex-CJN Aloma Mukhtar’s anti-corruption hunting.
But this wasn’t the first time she would get robbed by her fellow justice. In fact, she has been having a running battle with the high and mighty she called judicial consultants in Nigeria’s temple of justice.
According to her, former CJN S.M.A.Belgore and Bini Chief Gabriel Igbinedion framed her up as punishment for not selling her judgement in the Mona Youssefian and three others case against Elf Petroleum Nigeria Ltd she presided over in Uyo. The case was one of the trumped-up petitions for which the National Judicial Council investigated and sanctioned her. She gave judgement–$2 million in damages—in favour of the woman whose husband died on one of the oil company’s partner’s platform.
Belgore and Igbinedion, fronting for Elf, asked Olotu to vacate the garnishee order she gave for the judgment creditors after she was transferred to Port Harcourt—the handiwork of the consultants.
The request to swing the judgement, the National Daily learnt, was made in January 2011—by Belgore, at Ikoyi, in Lagos, during a white-tie ceremony.
And because she didn’t budge, she first bagged a transfer to Rivers, and later to Abuja. She had a call too—from Igbinedion. He taunted her, adding they were behind all her travails because she refused to do what they asked her to do.
He then promised more blitz of attacks.
It actually poured on her. Mukhtar’s NJC began to investigate her on receiving petitions that never really indicted her. The council itself met, and decided to rusticate her.
With the help of then AGF Mohammed Adoke, they got former President Goodluck Jonathan to rubberstamp the NJC recommendation to retire Olotu. No legal or constitutional backing. Not even from the judicial code of conduct.
“The letter is full of lies and misrepresentations,” she said. “No fair hearing at the approval process before President Jonathan.”
Naturally, Adoke, another enemy of hers, would be glad to finish her off. He had a beef against Olotu when she threw out an EFCC case she said was shoddily prosecuted. And Adoke, according to her, vowed to hit back.
So the EFCC and ICPC were brought in to make it messier for the retired judge whom they said was worth N2 billion in cash. There was a media campaign of calumny, too, in ThisDay.
She then flew to law, suing almost all of them—from Belgore down to the EFCC and the newspaper.
The investigators could not traced the billions, and the legal firework ensuing was going to escalate into a national security matter. The Jonathan presidency had to let it slide, and reined back its sleazehounds.
But that wasn’t justice—by all standards.
Olotu is supposed to retire at 65, by 2024. But she was hammered down at 54. Which is what she’s contesting in court.
Justice Kafarati has moved the first case to Industrial Court. Olotu still contests that though, basing her argument on section 25(1)(q) of the 1999 Constitution. The second case would also be transferred to Abuja.
In any case, what matters to her counsels is justice—wherever.