Senate urges IGP to disclose findings on invasion of Odili’s residence
The Senate yesterday condemned the invasion of the residence of Supreme Court Justice, Mary Peter-Odili, by security operatives.
The upper chamber also commended the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, for making arrests and constituting a panel to investigate the raid and urged the Police Inspector-General to make public, all findings.
The decision followed the adoption of a motion on the “Urgent Need to Investigate the Invasion of Justice Mrs. Odili’s Residence by Security Agents,” raised by Senator Betty Apiafi.
The lawmaker, in her motion, noted that on October 29, 2021, security operatives invaded the home of the Supreme Court judge.
She noted that Justice Mary Odili is the second most senior judicial officer in Nigeria.
She recalled that a joint panel recovery unit of the Ministry of Justice, comprising the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigeria Police and the Ministry of Justice, purportedly sought for a search warrant from an FCT Magistrate after a whistleblower claimed to have observed illegal activities allegedly going on in a house at Imo Street, Maitama.
She said: “The Senate is worried that this incident, brings back to mind the similar invasion of homes of some senior judicial officers, including chief judges of the Supreme Court, and judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja and other parts of the country in October 2016, which was widely condemned.
“Further worried that the home of such a highly revered judicial officer could be raided in such a manner by security agents.
“The Senate is disturbed that 11 days after the incident, though the Inspector General of Police claims some arrests had been made and investigations ongoing, even though the details of such arrest have not been made public.”
Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, who chairs the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, said no member of the upper chamber “was at ease hearing the news of what happened.”
He added that the motion presented by Apiafi, represents the collective desire of members of the National Assembly in ensuring that the government takes appropriate steps to bring to book all those found culpable.
He noted that doing so would send a clear signal on the need to respect the sanctity of the Judiciary and to also protect judicial officers in Nigeria, whose rights under the law must be protected.
Senator George Thompson Sekibo (PDP, Rivers East), on his part, recalled that the Port Harcourt residence of Justice Mary Odili was invaded a couple of months ago.
He said, “Several reasons were given why thugs invaded the house. I don’t want to mention the reasons, so it does not bring in controversy.
“Recently, as the motion said, the house in Abuja was also invaded. [And] then after a struggle, the security agents that invaded the place left the residence.
“My problem is this, oftentimes, things happen and then police investigate and, in most cases, we don’t get the result of investigation. I pray that this investigation comes to light.”