Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has stated that the residence of a Supreme Court Judge, Mary Odili, was invaded a second time because the Muhammadu Buhari-led government failed to prosecute the suspects the first time.
He noted that the first time was in February 2020, adding that the government treated those responsible for the invasion like sacred cows.
Falana in his reaction to last Friday's invasion of Justice Odili's residence, on Monday urged the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to ensure that lawyers who took part in the execution of the illegal search warrant were reported to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee.
The human rights lawyer’s reaction titled, “The Second Attack On Justice Mary Peter-Odili,” was obtained by SaharaReporters on Monday.
Falana said, “On February 21, 2020, a gang of armed thugs invaded the residence of Justice Mary Peter-Odili at Abuja and subjected her to unwarranted intimidation. The protesters claimed that they were dissatisfied with her judgment in an appeal that was decided by a full panel of 7 Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
"At the material time, both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) pointed accusing fingers at each other. But the police and other security agencies ignored the calls for the investigation and prosecution of the criminal suspects who invaded the residence of the Justice.
“Since the armed thugs were treated like sacred cows last year, the Honourable Justice Mary Peter-Odili was subjected to further intimidation in the same house by a combined team of police and military personnel last Friday while executing a search warrant in respect of another property. The Magistrate who issued the warrant of arrest has turned round to revoke it on the ground that he was misled by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. Although the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the State Security Service have denied involvement in the intimidation of the Senior Judge, the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force have not denied the presence of their personnel in the house.
“However, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) has not only denied involvement in the intimidation of Justice Peter-Odili, he has also directed the Police to investigate the circumstances surrounding the invasion.
“Without prejudice to the official investigation, the Nigerian Bar Association should ensure that the members of the legal profession who took part in the execution of the illegal search warrant are reported to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee. Otherwise, such attacks will continue to be unleashed on Judges, from to time, by the sworn enemies of the Rule of Law in the corridors of power.”
SaharaReporters had on Saturday reported that the armed security agents violated the residence of the Supreme Court judge, using a search warrant allegedly collected by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, and his ministry officials.
SaharaReporters had on Monday reported that although Malami denied involvement in the invasion, evidence points to him and his officials reportedly on a mission to hound the Supreme Court judge due for retirement in 2022.