Armed security operatives, numbering over 50 personnel, on Friday stormed the residence of a supreme court Judge, Justice Mary Odili. No official explanation has been given by the Nigerian authorities for the raid.
The supreme court justice is the wife of a former Governor of Rivers State Peter Odili who is currently on the watchlist of the Economic and Financial crimes commission, EFCC.
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 on Saturday in Abuja.
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 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.
“The public need to know that there was nothing called Joint Panel Recovery’, under the Ministry of Justice, what we have is Assets Recovery and Management Unit’, the mandate of which does not include sting operations’’.
He said that numerous incongruities in the documents being circulated in relation to the saga reveal traces of criminal actions with particular regards to the name, as contained on the purported letter headed paper: `Ghost Account for Local Whistle Blowers & Assets Tax Recovery Panel’;
“The ambiguous reference to `Ministry of Justice’ without clarifying as to whether it is Federal or State Ministry and of which state;
“The claimed office address which was revealed by the letter headed paper which is not the address of the Federal Ministry of Justice, and the email address used on the letter.
“All these deductions would have assisted a discerning mind to arrive at a reasonable conclusion of criminal undertones associated with the court process on the basis of which the purported search warrant was procured’’.
Gwandu said that the office of the Attorney General had since reached out to the relevant authorities for an intensified wider investigation on the matter for necessary action that would lead to the prosecution of anyone involved in the matter.
This is in view of the fact that the only names on record from the process filed in court are a purported police officer who claimed to be “O/C Assets Recovery Team” and one Aliyu Umar a deponent in the affidavit.
“The claim of the chief magistrate as reported by a section of the media to the effect that he was misled by the office of the attorney general into the issuance of the search warrant was equally forwarded to the relevant investigating agencies.
This is to ascertain the veracity, or otherwise, of the purported association of the Attorney General, or if any officer in the office of the Attorney General is associated with such claimed misrepresentation.
Meanwhile, the EFCC has denied that it’s Operatives were behind the raid on Justice Odili’s Residence.
Reports of a raid on her home were condemned by the Commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, who noted that none of its officers carried out any operation on the Justice’s home.
The EFCC according to its spokesman Wilson Uwujaren in a statement Friday, says it is mere media speculations and urged the public to disregard the report.
There had been reports earlier that the EFCC had gone to Justice Odili’s home to execute a search warrant, as part of investigations into her husband, former Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili.
But in a swift reaction, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike is reported to have arrived the residence of Justice Mary Odili after the search by security agents.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome has described the siege on the home of a Supreme Court Justice, Mary Odili, as a ploy to embarrass her family.
The lawyer spoke to Channels Television after security operatives supposedly attached to the Ministry of Justice tried to gain entry into the Justice’s home in Abuja on Friday.
But Ozekhome, who faulted the details of the warrant, said the Federal Government should issue an apology for the embarrassment.
“The search warrant did not carry any name, of any person. It didn’t say Justice Mary Peter Odili. It didn’t say the husband, Dr Peter Odili. It just said, number 9, Imo Street,” Ozekhome said.
“Meanwhile, the very address of Justice Odili is not number 9, Imo street. Who were the persons, they did not put a single name. What address? You got the wrong address.
“So there is this theory that it could have been a clear case of genuine mistaken identity. I only hope so.
“But the other theory, which I seem to want to believe more, because of the activities and antecedents of this government, is that it was politically motivated.
“So I believe it was done to embarrass them. But for whatever it was done, it was a shame to this country. If they now find that it was an erroneous entry or that it was mistake, let them do Nigerians and Nigeria the minimal of saying ‘we are sorry, we made a honest mistake’. And heavens will not fall; and they will be applauded for it.
“But let them not always pretend that all is well, even after causing great embarrassment.”