The Supreme Court, yesterday, broke its silence over last Friday’s invasion of the Abuja house of Justice Mary Odili, declaring: “Enough is enough!”
It further warned: “The Nigerian judiciary cannot only bark, but can also bite. We can no longer be treated with disdain and levity.”
The apex court said no individual or institution of government must misconstrue the judiciary as the weeping child among the three arms of government.
In a statement by its Director of Press and Information, Dr Akande Festus, the court said the attack was an uncivilised and shameful show of primitive force on an innocent judicial officer.
It reads in part: “We are alarmed at the news of the unwarranted and despicable raid on the official residence of one of our senior justices in the Supreme Court, Justice Mary Peter Odili on Friday, October 29, 2021 in Gestapo manner.
“The attack unfortunately depicted a gory picture of war by some armed persons suspected to be security operatives representing different agencies of government, who seemed to have come to kill and maim their target under the guise of undertaking a search whose warrant was questionable and baseless.
“We are deeply saddened and taken aback by this uncivilised and shameful show of primitive force on an innocent judicial officer that has so far spent several years of her productive life serving the country she calls her own.”
The court said the incident brings back the ugly memory of the October 2016 midnight invasion of the homes of justices.
It noted: “We wish to make it abundantly clear that the Nigerian judiciary is the third arm of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and should be respected and treated as such.
“We have had a full dosage of this fusillade of unwarranted and unprovoked attacks on our judicial officers and even facilities across the country and we say it loudly now that enough is enough!”
It said: “The judiciary should never be misconstrued by any individual or institution of government as the weeping child among the three arms of government that must always be chastised and ridiculed to silence because of our conservative disposition.
“Though there have emerged discordant tunes from the various security agencies that allegedly participated in the dastardly act, we are not lying low on this dehumanising treatment meted out to one of our own.
“We have commenced a full-scale independent investigation to unravel the true masquerades behind the mystery as well as the real motives behind the whole imbroglio.
“Similarly, we call on the Inspector General of Police to rise up to the occasion by carrying out a discreet investigation and make his findings known to the Nigerian public with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice as quickly as possible.”
The apex court added: “The Nigerian judiciary cannot only bark, but can also bite. We can no longer be treated with disdain and levity. The rule of law and constitutionality must govern our conduct so that we can tag along with the comity of nations and be taken seriously too.”
ALSO, Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), yesterday, tasked Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on the invasion.
Chief Solomon Awomolo, who spoke on behalf of the others, said they were concerned about the incident, insisting the government must expose the perpetrators.