Policemen have continued to camp outside the home of Supreme Court Justice, Mary Odili, at 9 Imo Street, Maitama, Abuja, even as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission denied its role in the operation despite court documents to the contrary.
The EFCC Spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement that the commission had no hand in the matter and advised members of the public to disregard any news to the contrary.
The statement read in part, “The attention the EFCC has been drawn to claims in a section of the media that operatives of the commission today, October 29, 2021, stormed the Maitama, Abuja home of a Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Mary Odili, purportedly to execute a search.
“The commission by this statement wishes to inform the public that the report is false as it did not carry out any operation at the home of Justice Odili. If there was any such operation as claimed by the media, it was not carried out by the EFCC. The commission enjoins the public to discountenance the report.”
Documents seen by The PUNCH, however, show that the EFCC was part of the Odili investigation which is being handled by the Joint Panel on Recovery in the Federal Ministry of Justice under the leadership of Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney-General of the Federation.
The panel comprises representatives of the EFCC, the Nigeria Police Force, and the Ministry of Justice.
The probe, it was learnt, was targeted at her husband, Peter Odili, who was Governor of oil-rich Rivers State from 1999 to 2007.
A witness, Aliyu Umar, said in the affidavit dated October 13, 2021, that he had given the information to the EFCC.
It read in part, “I have observed some illegal activities going on in those houses within Abuja are illegal and hereby report the said matter to the law enforcement agency.
“I hereby state that all information provided by me to the EFCC is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.”
In a second affidavit deposed to by a senior police officer, CSP Lawrence Ajodo, the panel applied to a chief magistrate in Abuja seeking a search warrant to search the house.
The Chief Magistrate, Emmanuel Iyanna, subsequently approved the search warrant on October 29, 2021.
Odili, who was governor from 1999 to 2007, obtained a perpetual injunction from a Federal High Court in 2007 which barred the EFCC from investigating or prosecuting him.
In 2020, he approached a Federal High Court again to get another injunction to stop an impending probe.
Last month, the former governor sued the Nigeria Immigration Service for seizing his passport at the airport.
In its response, however, the NIS said it was the EFCC that asked it to seize Odili’s passport as part of a probe.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, however, ordered immigration to release the passport to Odili immediately.
An impeccable source told The PUNCH that Justice Odili, who is one of the most senior justices in the country, was upset about the decision of the EFCC to search her home.
The source said, “EFCC operatives armed with a search warrant stormed Justice Odili’s home today, claiming to be investigating her husband.
“Justice Odili insisted that it was her personal house and not her husband’s own.
“As I speak to you, the operatives are still there, insisting that they search the house.”