It is supposed to be one of the safest places in Nigeria, ensconced between the Three-Arms Zone and Maitama District, but the sanctity of the home of recently retired Justice Musa Dattijo, right in the official quarters of justices of the nation’s apex court, was breached, and all his and householders’ earthly effects were cleared out by yet-to-be apprehended burglars.
But that is no longer news. What is, Everyday.ng learnt, is that the affected justice, who months ago during his valedictory ceremony, berated the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Kayode Ariwoola on the lopsidedness of the panel that heard the final appeal on the presidential election, is receiving a silent treatment from the management of the court.
At the valedictory session, Dattijo also raised issues on the management of the apex court.
His phone calls over the burglary are allegedly not been picked by the professional and administrative heads of the court, forcing friends and family to conclude that the cold shoulders is an after-effect of his valedictory speech.
Some even suspect the burglary was an insiders’ job because of the clinical way it was done. “He, his wives, and other householders had packed up all they had in Abuja, including clothes, jewelries, books, stationeries and all you can think of, preparatory to moving out of the quarters. The things were said to have been packed in boxes and all manner of containers, but the unimaginable happened: they were all carted away from the highly secured quarters.
“Do you know where the quarters of justices of the Supreme Court is? It overlooks the DSS headquarters, the Office of the National Security Adviser, the Presidential Villa, and the National Assembly. Someone or persons mustered the courage to enter that place. Please, give me a break, it is too wonderful to be believed! What if the man and his family were home, would they be kidnapped and they would be part of the Abuja statistics of bandits’ exploits? Allah kiyaye (Hausa for God forbid)!
But another source familiar with the unfolding drama in the apex court gave a background as to why the justice is getting the cold treatment.
“He wants the CJN to pick his calls after how it is perceived he stabbed the man in the back? Let them tell us what they all enjoyed, the use and abuse of committees’ headship in the National Judicial Council (NJC). Let them tell you how they enjoyed the headship of the court and NJC.
“You remember he said he was going to write a book. They are waiting for the book and Nigerians will be regaled with facts of financial favours enjoyed by many on the highest bench.
“I know, for instance that when the CJN opted not to sit on the presidential panel, it was thought that someone was going to head that panel. However, it was feared that the someone might have been allegedly compromised. Details of which some persons claim they have of how money allegedly changed hands. Some of us are praying that these details will come out in the open, including why the second in command was not considered to head the panel, and what informed the inclusion of others. We need to know the quantum of rot that went into the process beyond what is hidden behind black cloaks and white wigs.
“Apart from the ten of millions allegedly released over the past two years for medical treatments, and other perquisites beyond the official, and the feeling of betrayal of a person and the system on the last day at a public event, I cannot see other reason for his calls being ignored. Also, I heard that since the Hon. Justice is retired, the management has handed the burglary matter to the appropriate authorities while concentration is on those still serving and those coming on stream.”
Everyday.ng gathered that on the 9th of December, 2023 Justice Musa Dattijo and his wives reportedly travelled to Saudi Arabia for the Lesser Hajj.
While there; on the 15th of December, 2023, according to family sources, his official driver phoned and notified him that his official quarters, which he was still occupying, had been burgled and that all their belongings had been taken away. No member of the family was in residence at the time.
Immediately he got this information, a family source said, Justice Dattijo reportedly phoned the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, and the Chief Registrar, Hajiya Hajo Sarki Bello but they would not pick his calls. After several unreturned calls, he resorted to sending them text messages about the incident.
While the CJN and the CR respectively responded to the text messages, commiserating with him over the incident, they allegedly neither called nor responded to his calls. They, according to the family member, allegedly did not any known action, official or unofficial, thereafter.
After further pressure from the distraught Dattijo, the CR in a text message allegedly told him that the police and office security were on the matter and that new police officers have been posted to the house. “Baba has not received any update since then.”
It was also gathered that on return to Nigeria on the 26th of December, and in the absence of any update from either the CJN or the CR and with neither of them picking his calls, he again sent them a message saying that he was back, he had called several times in vain and would appreciate if responded to.
Nothing, it was learnt, happened, as the justices stews.
The phone number of the Supreme Court’s spokesman, Dr. Festus Akande, could not be reached, while a response to an sms sent to his line is still being awaited.