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Odili: Imo lawyers accuse FG of intimidating judiciary


The five branches of the Nigerian Bar Association in Imo State on Sunday accused the Federal Government of deliberately fighting to cow and intimidate the judiciary.

A statement issued by the chairmen of the five branches, J.I. Ogamba, Chairman, NBA Owerri Branch; Chief A.U. Ugboaja, Chairman, NBA Mbaise Branch; R.C. Ndeme, Chairman, NBA Okigwe Branch; B.A. Munonye, Chairman, NBA Orlu Branch and Chief Richard Anyanwu, Chairman, NBA Mbano/Etiti Branch described the invasion of the Abuja residence of a Supreme Court justice, Mary Odili, as “reprehensible, roguish and barbaric.”

They called for an investigation into the invasion, adding that the judiciary ought to be respected by the executive arm of government.

The statement read, “On Friday, October 29, 2021, the Nigerian airwaves were inundated with the unfortunate news of the Gestapo-like invasion/siege by unknown security agents, at the Abuja residence of Honourable Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili, JSC. This barbaric invasion is reminiscent of the better-forgotten and unsavoury invasions of the houses of justices and judges by officers of the Department of State Services in a purported “sting operation” in 2016.

“Whereas the purported Order made by the Magistrate Court, Wuse, has been revoked by the Magistrate who made the same; whereas all the relevant security agencies have denied involvement in this unfortunate incident; and whereas the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, has come out to deny knowledge of this barbaric action by rogue security agencies, this goes to show that the shield bearers of our democracy (Judiciary) are now easy preys to the same security agencies who are meant to protect them.

“Lawyers in Imo State strongly condemn this reprehensible, roguish, barbaric and abominable invasion of the residence of the Honourable Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili, JSC, who is the second most senior Justice of the Supreme Court. We view this incident as a continuation of the unrelenting attempts and efforts by the government of the day to intimidate and cow the Judiciary.

“Furthermore, we call 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. This is to serve as a deterrent to would-be overzealous security agents and their collaborators in power who may be tempted to embarrass and ridicule the judiciary.”



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