The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has denounced the recent raid on the Abuja residence of Supreme Court Justice Mary Odili by yet to be identified security operatives.
A statement by the president of the NBA, Olumide Akpata, yesterday described the siege as an orchestrated affront on the judiciary designed to intimidate and ridicule the arm of government.
Akpata put blame for the siege squarely on the shoulders of the attorney general, Abubakar Malami, who has denied involvement.
The NBA executive committee, he said, would hold an emergency meeting and also lead a delegation to the attorney general to seek clarification.
He said almost 24 hours later, information concerning the basis of the siege remained hazy and the subject of speculation, apart from reports that the invasion was pursuant to a search warrant issued by a Magistrate Court in Abuja, which search warrant had now been revoked.
The statement read, “The attorney-general of the federation under whose office the team that purportedly carried out the raid is allegedly domiciled, has also denounced the team, which suggests the inference that the residence of the second most senior judicial officer in Nigeria was raided by rogue security agencies.
“The grave implications of this possibility leave a lot to be desired. When viewed in the context of a similar raid on the premises of Supreme Court Justices in 2016, the
rationale of which was never fully explained or indeed justified, the NBA interprets last night’s incident as a part of an orchestrated affront on the judiciary, designed to intimidate and ridicule the judiciary.”
The NBA, he said, would no longer allow this to continue.
“In case the law enforcement agencies have not learnt their lessons, events like this do nothing but erode the independence of sacred democratic institutions like the judiciary, undermine the rule of law
in Nigeria, and set the country back in the quest to instill confidence in citizens of Nigeria, Nigerian businesses, and foreign investors that Nigeria operates a democracy with an independent Judiciary,” he said.
Akpata said, “I have spoken with My Lord, Peter-Odili JSC and I am happy to report that she is alive and well. Beyond
that however, it is my pledge to Nigerians that the NBA will get to the root of this matter.”
Meanwhile, the attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), says he is not in any way connected with the invasion of the residence of a Supreme Court Justice, Mary Odili.
Dr Umar Gwandu, special assistant on media and public relations to Malami, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja yesterday.
Gwandu distanced Malami from what he described as fabrications and concocted lies linking him to the ensuing imbroglio relating to news stories about the searching of the Supreme Court judge’s residence.
He said the clarification to debunk the mischievous publication became imperative in view of the media hype and the dimension the story was taking.
“It is important to set the records straight that as the chief law officer of the federation, Malami will not stoop so low as to be associated with an apparent in-elegant and nasty court process on the strength of which the purported search warrant was procured.
“The media reports on the issue depict processes too untidy to ever emanate from the office of the attorney general of the federation. (NAN)