The Body of Senior Advocate s of Nigeria (BOSAN) yesterday met with the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, and demanded an immediate probe of last Friday’s siege of the Abuja home of Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court. Among those in attendance were Adegboyega Awomolo, Prof Yemi Akinseye- George and Jibrin Okutepa.
They stressed that such a development threatens judicial independence and the nation’s democracy. Speaking on behalf of the SANs, Awomolo, SAN, said they were concerned about the incident, insisting that government must unearth those behind that national disgrace.
“We have come to see the AGF concerning the unfortunate and ugly invasion of the residece of Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court last Friday by yet to be identified security officials.
He said, “When judges’ lives, careers, security and safety; when their independence is threatened, then democracy is also threatened. “The AGF has said he did not have knowledge of the incident and he had written a letter of complaint to the Inspector-General of Police for a thorough investigation as demonstration of his sincerity.
“He said he is open to be investigated if there is any information that connects him to the incident. “We are going to meet with the Chief Justice of Nigeria and let him know that the Body of SANs is very concerned about the lives, security and safety of our judicial officers anywhere and everywhere.
“This incident appears to be in isolation, but we cannot let it be swept under the carpet. The incident must be investigated and investigated thoroughly. “Nigerians are interested in this matter. It should not be politicised; it’s a matter of grave, political and constitutional importance.
“There are three arms of government: the Executive, the Legislature and Judiciary. One is not supposed to be in ambush or overriding the other or threaten the other’s existence, otherwise democracy is at risk.” Reacting, the AGF completely exonerated himself, saying he is open to investigation.
“Neither the Federal Government nor the office of the AGF is involved in the invasion of the Abuja home of Justice Mary Odili,” the AGF said. The Maitama home of Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court was on Friday, invaded by a Joint Panel Recovery unit of the Federal Government, comprising the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigerian Police, and the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The panel had invaded the residence of the high ranking Supreme Court Justice, claiming it had a warrant from Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Iyana, to search the home of Dr. Peter Odili. Justice Mary is the wife of Dr. Peter Odili, who served as governor of Rivers State between 1999 and 2007