Invasion of Justice Odili’s Residence, Impunity Taken Too Far – Supreme Court

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CJN Justice Tank Muhammad

The Supreme Court on Tuesday in Abuja broke its silence on the alleged unlawful invasion of Justice Mary Odili of the court by unknown security operatives, describing it as an impunity taken too far.

The apex court warned that the judiciary should not be misconstrued by any individual or institution of government as the weeping child among the three arms of government.

In its first reaction to the situation, the Supreme Court in a statement by its Director of Press and Information, Dr Akande Festus, said that the attack was an uncivilised and shameful show of primitive force on the innocent judicial officer.

The two-page statement reads in part: “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 29th October 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.

“This incident 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.

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“We 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.

“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.

“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.

“We have commenced a full-scale independent investigation to unravel the true masquerades behind the mystery as well as the real motives behind the whole imbroglio.

“Similarly, we call on the Inspector General of Police of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to rise up to the occasion by carrying out a discreet investigation and make his findings known to the Nigerian public with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice as quickly as possible.

“The Nigerian judiciary 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,” the statement added.

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