‘It seemed like a plan to kill their target’ — Supreme Court speaks on Odili home invasion


The supreme court says the invasion of Mary Odili’s residence appeared to be a disguised attempt to “kill” whomever the security operatives were after.


On Friday, security operatives — made up of soldiers and police officers — stormed the Abuja residence of the supreme court justice over an allegation that illegal activities were going on there.


The search warrant was granted to one Lawrence Ajodo, identified as a chief superintendent of police and a member of the investigation team under the asset tax recovery panel of the ministry of justice.


The document also showed that the panel comprises the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and the ministry of justice.


However, the EFCC and the attorney-general of the federation have denied any involvement in the issue.


The warrant, which was revoked afterwards, was also discovered to have an address different from that of the judge’s residence.


The supreme court, in a statement by Festus Akande, director of press and information, said the attack was an “uncivilised and shameful show of primitive force” on the supreme court judge.


 “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,” the statement reads.


“We are deeply saddened and taken aback by this uncivilised 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.


“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 dehumanising 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.”

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