The Supreme Court, the nation’s apex court, has reacted to Friday’s storming of the Abuja residence of Justice Mary Odili, JSC, describing it as impunity taken too far.
The court said in a statement which has just been released that it is dismayed by the growing harassment of judges in the country.
The reaction of the Supreme Court is coming in the wake of a warning issued by the body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria after its members visited Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice in Abuja.
The group of senior lawyers led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, noted that when judges are under threat, when they are being muzzled, Nigeria’s democracy is under threat.
“We have come to see the Attorney-General of the Federation”, Awomolo told the press, “concerning the unfortunate and ugly invasion of the resident of Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court last Friday by yet to be identified security operatives.
“When judges’ lives, careers, security and safety; when their independence is threatened, then democracy is also threatened.
“We are going to meet with the Chief Justice of Nigeria”, Awomolo stressed, “to let him know that the Body of SANs is very concerned about the lives, security and safety of our judicial officers anywhere and everywhere.”
Earlier, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, condemned the raid, saying such a move was totally unacceptable.
In the meantime, the Nigerian Senate and the Police have lent their voices to the growing public outcry of the Rivers people and other Nigerians.
While the Police through its Spokesman, Frank Mba announced that the office of the Inspector General has set up an investigation which is expected to get to the root of the matter, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary is assuring Nigerians that the Senate would discuss the invasion of the residence of the revered jurist at plenary.
Recall that Rivers people resident in Abuja, at great risk to their lives on Friday, resisted attempts by unknown persons, some of who were in uniform, to force their way into the residence of Justice Odili.
Sunday, Rivers leaders of thought led by Governor Nyesom Wike issued a 48-hour ultimatum, urging the Federal Government to provide urgent answers.
Wike described the move by security personnel as an assassination attempt and said the Federal Government would be held accountable should anything happen to the Odilis.
Who gave the order to invade the Odili mansion in Abuja and why?
This is the question that most Nigerians want answers to, even as they insist that enough is enough.
This is the second time that such a raid would take place at the home of the Odilis.
Justice Odili is the second most senior Justice at the Supreme Court and many are worried that under the Buhari administration, she has become a target hunted by a group of security agents whose identities have been shrouded in secrecy.
In Rivers State, there are concerns over her life.
Former Spokesman of the APC in Rivers State, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke remarked Tuesday night, “The situation is worrisome. We hope that the system would unravel the faces of those who chose on Friday night to pay a visit to the home of Justice Mary Odili.
“We salute the Nigerian people for reacting the way they have. Democracy is truly under threat and Nigerians cannot allow efforts made over the years to build strong democratic institutions to go to waste.
“We see the invasion of her residence as emerging evidence that there are people in this country who are opposed to the freedom of the judiciary, especially the right of judicial officials to deal with matters of great public interest that are brought before them, without fear or favour.”
Subscribe for newsletter
* You will receive the latest news and updates on your favorite celebrities!