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CJN: Odili home invasion embarrassing… we’ve had enough of such harassment

CJN: Odili home invasion embarrassing… we’ve had enough of such harassment
December 08
22:01 2021

Ibrahim Muhammad, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), says harassment of judicial officers will no longer be tolerated.

He said this on Wednesday in reaction to the invasion of the home of Mary Odili, a justice of the supreme court, in October.

Speaking at an event to mark the 2021/2022 legal year of the supreme court, the CJN said the judiciary’s silence “should never be mistaken for stupidity or weakness”.

He warned that “no one, irrespective of his or her status or position in the country, should test our will because the consequences of such unwarranted provocation will be too dire to bear”.

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“On a very sad note, I must say, we were jolted with embarrassing news of the invasion of the official residence of honourable justice Mary Peter Odili on Friday, October 29, by men suspected to be security operatives, acting on a search warrant,” he said.

“The said warrant was purportedly obtained from an Abuja magistrate court under questionable circumstances.

“I must make it known to all and sundry that we have had enough dosage of such embarrassment and harassment of our judicial officers across the country and we can no longer take any of such shenanigans.

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“By the nature of our work, we are a conservative but not conquered species and should not be pushed further than this by any individual, institution or agency of the government.

“With time, those taking the judiciary as a mere weakling will soon realise that it is from the calmest seas we often experience the fiercest storms.

“The time to oppress, suppress and intimidate judicial officers is gone. We shall begin to resist any clandestine attempt to silence or ridicule us to oblivion.

“Nigeria, to the best of my knowledge, is not a lawless society. We should begin to do things that will project us favourably and rightly too, to the international community.

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“No law permits anyone to invade, subdue or overawe any Nigerian citizen in his or her residence with a flimsy, fraudulently-obtained search warrant.

“We are making efforts now to ensure that henceforth, every search or arrest warrant must be issued with the knowledge and approval of the chief judge of the respective state or federal high court as the case may be.”

Security operatives had invaded the house of Odili on the claim that “illegal activities” were going on there.

However, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) denied the allegation that it was involved in the invasion, while Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, also denied giving the order.

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The AGF ordered a probe into the invasion, and a few persons allegedly linked to the incident have been arrested.

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