ANOTHER GORY TALE, of how abysmal, the country is sliding, manifested in the invasion of Supreme Court Justice Mary Odili’s residence, in Abuja, last Friday, by alleged combined security operatives; Nigerian Police, Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, and office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
Some armed persons who claimed to be security operatives, representing different security agencies of government, stormed the residence of Justice Mary Odili, in what has been described as guise “to kill and maim their target”, and armed with suspicious “search warrant”, to search her residence.
Authorities of the Nigerian Police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami have, all, denied knowledge of the invasion of Justice Mary Odili’s residence.
The Magistrate who issued the search warrant, said the panel in the office of the AGF, that sought the issuance of the search warrant, misled him, and he revoked the search order. Nigerian federal government has made no official statement on the incident about one week after.
FESTUS AKANDE, Supreme Court Director of Information, on Tuesday, November 2, issued a statement and described the invasion of Justice Mary Odili’s residence situated at Number 7, Imo River Street, Maitama, Abuja, as “an impunity taken too far”.
Akande, warned that the judiciary should not be misconstrued by anyone or institution of government as the “weeping child”, among other arms of government. The Supreme Court, Akande said, was saddened by the development, and described it as “uncivilized and shameful show of primitive force” on innocent judicial officer.
His words: “We are alarmed with the news of the unwarranted and despicable raid on the official residence of one of our senior justices in the Supreme Court, Hon. Justice Mary Peter Odili on Friday October 29, 2021 in a Gestapo manner.
“The attack unfortunately depicted a gory picture of war by some armed persons suspected to be security operatives representing different agencies of government who seemed to have come to kill and maim their target under the guise of undertaking a search whose warrant was questionable and baseless.
“We are deeply saddened and taken aback by this uncivilized and shameful show of primitive force on an innocent judicial officer that has so far spent several years of her productive life serving the country she calls her own”.
Akande said storming Justice Mary Odili’s residence by security operatives, “brought back, rather painfully, the ugly memory of the October 2016 midnight invasion of the homes of our respected justices with no satisfactory explanations as to the true motive behind such brazen assault on our collective sensibility”.
The Supreme Court, he said “Wish to make it abundantly clear that the Nigerian Judiciary is the third arm of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and should be respected and treated as such”; and added: “We have had a full dosage of this fusillade of unwarranted and unprovoked attacks on our judicial officers and even facilities across the country and we say it loudly now that enough is enough”.
Akande’s statement further said: “The judiciary should never be misconstrued by any individual or institution of government as the weeping child among the three arms of government that must always be chastised and ridiculed to silence because of our conservative disposition.
“Though there have emerged discordant tunes from the various security agencies that allegedly participated in the dastardly act, we are not lying low on this dehumanizing treatment meted out to one of our own.”
The Supreme Court, Akande said, has commenced full-scale independent investigation to unravel, what he described as the “true masquerades behind the mystery”, as well as the real motives behind the whole embarrassment.
Nigerian Inspector General of Police, the statement further added: should rise up to the occasion, carry out discreet investigation and make the findings known to Nigerian public, and bring the perpetrators to justice. Nigerian Judiciary, the statement added “cannot only bark, but can also bite”.
“We can no longer be treated with disdain and levity. The rule of law and constitutionality must govern our conduct so that we can tag along with the comity of nations and be taken seriously too”.