The Senate, yesterday, urged the Inspector- General of Police, Usman Baba, to publish the report of the ongoing investigation into the invasion the Abuja residence of the Supreme Court Justice, Mary Peter-Odili, by operatives of security agencies. The Senate made the resolution following a motion of urgent public importance, sponsored by Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers West). The apex legislative assembly also condemned the invasion and commended the IGP for making arrests and setting up an investigative panel to unravel the perpetrators of the crime.
It will be recalled that security operatives had on October 29, invaded the Abuja residence of the justice, a development that had attracted public outcry as the action was widely described as affront on the Judiciary. The Inspector-General of Police has already directed for a comprehensive investigation into the criminal invasion of the Justice of the nation’s apex court. Apiafi, while coming under order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Orders, moved a motion on the “Urgent Need to Investigate the Invasion of Justice Mrs. Odili’s Residence by Security Agents.”
Presenting her motion, the lawmaker noted that on October 29, 2021, security operatives invaded the home of the Supreme Court Judge, pointing out that Justice Mary Odili was a second most senior judicial officer in Nigeria. She recalled that a Joint Panel Recovery Unit of the Ministry of Justice, comprising the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian Police and the Ministry of Justice, purportedly sought for a search warrant from an FCT Magistrate after a so called whistleblower claimed to have observed illegal activities allegedly going on in a house at Imo Street, Maitama.
She added that: “The Senate is worried that this incident, brings back to mind the similar invasion of homes of some senior Judicial Officers, including Chief Judges of the Supreme Court, and Judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja and other parts of the country in October 2016, which was widely condemned.”
Senator Apiafi, in her motion, expressed concern that 11 days after the invasion, details of the arrest by the Police in respect of the inaction were still sketchy. Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), who chairs the Committe on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, said the parliament must ensure that all those responsible are brought to book. He said that the Legislature should also ensure that government made efforts to protect judges and other judicial officers. In his comment, Senator George Thompson Sekibo (PDP, Rivers East), recalled that the Port Harcourt residence of Justice Mary Odili was invaded a couple of months ago, urging relevant authorities to do a thorough investigation and bring the culprits to book.