The House of Representatives Sunday described the siege on Justice Mary Peter Odili’s Abuja residence as a repudiation of judicial independence and assault on the sanctity of Nigeria’s judiciary.
Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Onofiok Luke, in a statement, said it was disturbing that in the dusk of 29 October 2021, the judiciary was once again exposed to public ridicule.
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He said the manner in which the residence of Justice Odili of the Supreme Court of Nigeria was invaded by law enforcement officials purportedly on an assignment to execute a search warrant issued by a magistrate was an embarrassment.
“Also disturbing is the fact that the said warrant was revoked by the issuing magistrate who had discovered that it was procured by the applicant on the premises of misrepresented facts.”
The committee called for a discreet investigation to unravel those behind the invasion “which is capable of straining the existing relationship” between the judiciary and the executive.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday asked the federal government to, within 48 hours, unmask those behind the invasion of Odili’s residence.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja alongside leaders of thought from the state, Wike said it was insufficient for the federal government and its officials, particularly the Attorney-General of the Federation, to merely deny their involvement in the invasion.
“The onus is on the federal government to come out and prove that they are not involved because mere denial is not enough, we are giving them 48 hours to unmask those behind the invasion and tell the world what they have done,” Wike said.
Asked what action they intended to take if the ultimatum was not met, Wike said: “Let the ultimatum end first.”
He said it was not a mere coincidence that after participating in the Bayelsa State election panel, some people entered Justice Odili’s house, but the government kept quiet while the former governor’s passport was also seized on his return from abroad.
Describing the incident as an attempt on the lives of the ex-governor, his wife and other members of his family, he warned that his state and its people would hold the federal government responsible should anything untoward happen to any member of the family.