Police arraign 15 suspects over siege on Justice Odili’s residence

December 16, 2021
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A file photo of security operatives at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Police have arraigned 15 out of the 22 suspects alleged to have laid siege on the residence of Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The suspects who are facing 18 counts were presented on Wednesday before Justice Nkeonye Maha of the Federal High Court in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

They include Ajodo Lawrence (principal suspect), Michael Diete-Spiff, Bar. Alex Onyekuru, Bayero Lawal, Bar. Igwe Ernest, Aliyu Umar Ibrahim, Maimuna Maishanu, Ayodele Akindipe, Yusuf Adamu, Bashir Musa, ASP Mohammed Yahaya, Stanley Nkwazema, Shehu Jibo, Abdullahi Adamu, and Abdullahi Usman and were listed as the 1st to 15th defendants.

They were said to be among a Joint Panel Recovery unit of the Federal Government comprising the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), police, and the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The suspects had invaded the Abuja residence of the Supreme Court Justice on October 29, claiming it had a warrant from Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Iyanna to search the home of Justice Odili.

READ ALSO: Enough Of Harassment Of Judicial Officers, We Can No Longer Take It – CJN

Justice Mary is the wife of Dr Peter Odili who served as governor of Rivers State between 1999 to 2007.

The siege on the judge sparked widespread criticism from various individuals and groups within and outside the legal profession.

They include the Supreme Court, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and various legal bodies such as a group of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs).

As more drama and confusion trail the incident, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) distanced themselves from the action of the security operatives.

On Wednesday last week, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, took time in his speech at an event to condemn the siege on Justice Odili’s residence.

He warned individuals and agencies of the government against any form of harassment and embarrassment of judicial officers.

According to the CJN, the judiciary will no longer take any of such tricks and its silence should never be mistaken for stupidity or weakness.

He stressed that the era of oppressing, suppressing, and intimidating judicial officers was long gone and such action would no longer be condoned.

Justice Muhammad also warned that no one, irrespective of his or her status or position in the country, should test the will of the judiciary, saying the consequence of such unwarranted provocation would be too dire to bear.

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