Corruption: EFCC grills sacked Justice Olotu for 7 hours

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BY SONI DANIEL

Barely two weeks after being dismissed from office, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, yesterday, interrogated sacked Justice Gladys Olotu for over eight hours over corruption-related issues.

The embattled female judge, who has already challenged her untimely removal from office in court, was accompanied by two of her sisters and lawyer to the EFCC’s Intelligence and Special Operations Section following an invitation by the anti-graft agency.

Olotu, 55, who wore a Polka-dot dress and arrived the office at 9am, was still being interrogated by the operatives of the anti-graft agency as at the time of filing the report.

But there were indications she could be granted bail on self recognition by the operatives.

A top source at the EFCC said Justice Olotu was invited to clarify issues relating to property and bank accounts allegedly traced to her by the anti-graft agency.

The source alleged that many judicial officers, including Olotu hold a huge amount of monies, personal property and bank accounts in and outside the country.

A competent source hinted that when Justice Olotu arrived the EFCC’s office, she was immediately confronted with a catalog of property and accounts said to be owned by her.

Among Olotu’s alleged myriad of landed property, which the Commission is investigating include an uncompleted three-bedroom Town Hall located at City Scope, Lagos.

The property valued at N20 million was acquired in 2006; a four-bedroom bungalow located at Karshi, Nasarawa State, acquired from the Nigerian Navy in 2009 valued at N10 million; a plot of land at Kjah Nasarawa State valued at N2.5 Million in 2010; a plot at Kuruduma Abuja acquired in 2012 at N2.8 million.

Other properties alleged to be owned by ex-Justice Olotu are: six plots of land at Ogba Village, Benin, Edo state at N480, 000 in 2005; three plots of land located at Oben Village, Benin valued at N2.2 million; blocks of 4 six-bedroom flats acquired in 1979 valued at N16 million; one uncompleted twin 5-bedroom duplex, via a Lagos State government Allocation at N10 million; one block of 4 three-bedroom flats via Edo State Government Allocation valued at N10 million.

Others are: a plot of land at Guduwa Estate acquired in 2001 via FCDA allocation at N800, 000; a plot of land located at Lugbe, Abuja at N200, 000 and a plot of land at Ugbor, Edo State acquired via Edo State Government allocation at N600, 000.

Ex justice Olotu’s alleged shares being investigated include: Shares in Ossimo Investments Limited, a private family company. As at December 31, 2012, her estimated value of investment in the company was put at N825 million; shares in Unity Nominees Limited, a private family Company valued at N165 million as at December 31, 2012.

Others are 1, 030 units of shares in GTB; 20, 890 units of shares in Oando. She is also alleged to be a partner in Investment Company Limited, which has shares in Access Bank, First Bank, GTB, Julius Berger Nigeria, Oando and UBA.

Sources at the Commission told our correspondent that the embattled judge, who was on February 27, 2014 ordered to vacate her office after the National Judicial Council found her guilty of judicial misconduct, could be granted bail on self recognition.

Head of Media and Publicity of the Commission, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren could not be reached to confirm the story; but a competent source at the Commission’s headquarters confirmed that “it is true the retired judge was with us to answer some questions”.

Her ordeal followed a petition dated September 10, 2013, by Civil Society Network against Corruption. Titled: “Demand For Investigation Of Financial Accounts and Assets of Judicial Officers”.

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