A lawyer and human rights activist, Timipa Jenkins Okponipere has urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to speedily determine his petition against a judge and wife of a former governor of Rivers State, Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili over allegations of judicial misconduct and abuse of privilege.
Okponipere in a statement sent to SaharaReporters also asked the NJC to speedily determine his petition against Chief J.B. Daudu (SAN), Mr. Emmanuel C. Ukala (SAN) and Mr. Lawal-Rabana (SAN) for allegedly broadcasting, publishing and circulating false information against him.
The statement read, “As the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) begins its 61st Annual General Conference from 22 – 29 October 2021 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State BARR. TIMIPA JENKINS OKPONIPERE, a Port Harcourt-based Legal Practitioner and Human Rights Activist has urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to speedily determine his petition against The Honourable Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“BARR. OKPONIPERE has equally urged the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) to speedily determine his petition against Chief J.B. Daudu, SAN; Mr. Emmanuel C. Ukala, SAN and MR. LAWAL-RABANA, SAN who on May 10, 2013 in Abuja conspired amongst themselves to broadcast, publish and circulate false and misleading information to the general public regarding his status as a bonafide Legal Practitioner in Nigeria.
“I am compelled to issue this Press Statement because of my belief that the abovementioned Judicial Officer and 3 Senior Advocates of Nigeria are being shielded from discipline; given the fact that the petitions against them were submitted over a year ago.”
SaharaReporters gathered that Okponipere's troubles with the Odilis began sometime in December 2006 when he led his law firm, First Law Solicitors, to conduct a referendum on corruption and politically-motivated killings in Rivers State under the former governor Peter Odili and Justice Mary Peter-Odili as First Lady of the state.
Following the critically acclaimed referendum, Odili lost the presidential primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held on December 12, 2006 at the Eagle Square, Abuja. The former governor also lost out in the shadow race for the PDP Vice presidential ticket, as Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was declared the running mate to Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua, the eventual winner of the presidential ticket.
Odili and his spouse, Justice Mary Peter-Odili reportedly saw Okponipere as the architect behind their loss of the PDP presidential and vice-presidential tickets, and promptly got him arrested and charged before Justice Biobele Georgewill of the Rivers State High Court on January 17, 2007.
The matter subsequently progressed from the Rivers State High Court to the Court of Appeal (Port Harcourt Division) and eventually, to the Supreme Court in 2010.
By that time, however, Justice Mary Peter-Odili was already a Justice of the apex court, and she eventually sat on the Supreme Court panel which heard and determined the suit on February 8, 2013: a criminal appeal in which her spouse was the Chief Complainant and Prosecutor against Okponipere.