Wike gives FG 48 hours to expose invaders of Justice Odili’s house
• Says action was an assassination attempt
• SESSPN, Yoruba Ronu, Imo lawyers demand investigation
River State Governor Nyesom Wike has given the Federal Government 48 hours to expose those that invaded Justice Mary Odili’s house on Friday.
The governor gave the ultimatum in Abuja, yesterday, at a news conference jointly organised by the state government and leaders of thought in the state.
On Friday evening, some security operatives invaded the home of Mary Odili.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has since denied its involvement in the invasion. Also, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, denied insinuations that the Federal Government was behind the incident.
Wike, who described the action as an assassination attempt, said this was not the first time the home of the Supreme Court justice would be attacked by unknown persons, with the Federal Government doing nothing about it.
He said: “I believe there is something going on somewhere. Not long ago, the passport of her husband and former governor of River State, Peter Odili, was seized by Immigration. The Federal Government denied it. It was only when he went to court and the court said it was wrong to seize his passport that Immigration came up to say they held the passport because his name was on a watch list.
“On a day the head of the family was not around, his home was invaded. That was an assassination attempt. We, Rivers people, want to sound it clear that the lives of Peter Odili and that of members of his family are important to us and we will not take it kindly should anything happen to any of them.”
The governor said this is not the time to set up a probe panel because nothing will come out of it. “We want to see the Federal Government take concrete action against the perpetrators of the evil act,” he said.
Also, South East, South-South Professionals of Nigeria (SESSPN) and Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum condemned the action.
In separate statements, yesterday, SESSPN Publicity Secretary, Collins Steve Ugwu, and President, Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, Akin Malaolu, said the development portends danger for Nigeria’s democracy.
SESSPN said: “For a nation that wakes up to daily servings of state impunity, this is another grave sacrilege beyond ineptitude and one we hoped won’t be our lot soon again.”
It, therefore, demanded a thorough, immediate and transparent investigation by the Attorney General of the Federation to unburden suspicion of his compromise.
Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, on its part, noted: “The permission to carry out such an invasion by the military could not have come from nowhere else but the President. Any denial of this invasion cannot be done anyhow, except through a national address by Mr. President, as this invasion cannot be swept under the carpet.”
The committee of chairmen of the five chapters of the NBA in Imo State also condemned the invasion in a statement at the weekend signed by J.I. Ogamba, (Owerri branch); Chief A.U. Ugboaja (Mbaise branch); R.C. Ndeme (Okigwe branch); B.A. Munonye (Orlu branch); and Chief Richard Anyanwu (Mbano/Etiti branch).
They said: “Lawyers in Imo State strongly condemn this reprehensible, roguish, barbaric and abominable invasion of the residence of Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili, who is the second most senior Justice of the Supreme Court. We view this incident as a continuation of the unrelenting efforts by the government of the day to intimidate the Judiciary.”
The committee called for a “thorough investigation into the sequence of events culminating into this invasion, and for all those culpable to be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land.”