Police Arraign 15 Suspects Over Siege on Justice Odili’s Residence

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Police have arraigned 15 out of the 22 suspects alleged to have laid siege on the residence of Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The suspects were produced on Wednesday before Justice Nkeonye Maha of the Federal High Court in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

They are facing an 18-count charge.

They were said to be among a Joint Panel Recovery unit of the Federal Government comprising the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), police, and the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The panel had invaded the Abuja residence of the Supreme Court next ranking Justice on October 29, claiming it had a warrant from Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Iyanna to search the home of Justice Odili.

Justice Odili is the wife of Dr Peter Odili who served as governor of Rivers State between 1999 to 2007.

The siege on the judge sparked widespread criticism from various individuals and groups within and outside the legal profession.

They include the Supreme Court, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and various legal bodies such as a group of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs).

As more drama and confusion trail the incident, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) distanced themselves from the action of the security operatives.

On Wednesday last week, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, took time in his speech at an event to condemn the siege on Justice Odili’s residence.

He warned individuals and agencies of the government against any form of harassment and embarrassment of judicial officers.

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According to the CJN, the judiciary will no longer take any of such tricks and its silence should never be mistaken for stupidity or weakness.

He stressed that the era of oppressing, suppressing, and intimidating judicial officers was long gone and such action would no longer be condoned.

Justice Muhammad also warned that no one, irrespective of his or her status or position in the country, should test the will of the judiciary, saying the consequence of such unwarranted provocation would be too dire to bear.

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