Unknown to those who carried out the illegal act, the recent invasion by armed personnel at the residence of a serving Supreme Court judge, Justice Mary Odili, may have opened yet another can of worms on how low this government that has been struggling with image problems, has descended. The raging issue now is that a search warrant was issued by a Chief Magistrate, Mr. Emmanuel Iyana of a Wuse Zone 6 Magistrate Court. Mr. Iyana claimed the warrant request was brought by an official from the Federal Ministry of Justice due to the account of a whistleblower. As a result of this action, a Joint Panel Recovery spearheaded by the Ministry of Justice landed at the Odili’s residence for a search. Since the news broke, there have been claims and counter claims and gale of denials from various quarters regarding the illegal assignment.
The most pertinent question Nigerians are asking is that; if this treatment can be meted out to the number two person in rank in the Supreme Court and in a democracy, what is the fate of the ordinary man on the street, since it is often said that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man? In the past, the Department of State Services (DSS) in a similar manner, precisely in 2016, raided the houses of Justice John Okoro and Justice Ngwuta Sylvester. Also, in addition, the houses of Justice Adeniyi Ademola and Justice Dimgba Nnamdi respectively were stormed by the government agency. There are insinuations that, based on the style of this government, the raid on the Odilis’ home is because the learned Justice is the next in command after the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), and the Federal government may not want her to act in that capacity whenever the CJN is away.
The Rivers State government under Nyesom Wike has also reacted and alleged that anything could have happened to the family if those that went for the operation had succeeded in entering the compound. He therefore called for thorough investigation into the matter. The puzzling thing is that those whose names were published as sponsors of terrorism and many others who have skeletons in their cupboards are walking freely without any molestation. The actions of highly placed individuals in government everyday negate the assertion of the president, Muhammadu Buhari that Nigeria is not negotiable. The denial of the Attorney general, Abubakar Malami, of having nothing to do with this show of shame should not be accepted because of the way he jumps at issues that concerns other ethnic nationalities. His Ministry of Justice has been indicted in this matter. The least Nigerians expect is for government to unmask those who are behind this development as quickly as possible.
This is the second time the house of a Justice has been invaded in the tenure of this administration. The invasion of Mrs. Odili’s house, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, is a national disgrace and a slap on democracy. We call on the Federal Government to get to the root of this matter urgently since Nigerians cannot continue to live in denials. Those who carried out the raid are not ghosts and must be brought to book. Marching orders must be given this time because impunity in Nigeria by those who occupy government offices has been taken too far and must be discouraged in all its entirety. The Federal government should deliver justice in this country. That is the least the citizens deserve.