Prominent pro-democracy and Civil Rights Advocacy Group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has carpeted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for lying that it never invaded the Maitama home of the Supreme Court of Nigeria Justice Mrs. Mary Odili for over 5 hours.
The Rights group said telling lie about the exercise in which EFCC participated as disclosed by report from the Chief magistrate court makes the EFCC a tool for political WITCH-HUNT. HURIWA also condemns the federal ministry of justice for cooking up lies which deceived the Chief magistrate in Abuja to issue a search warrant at the home of the revered jurist of the highest court in the land. HURIWA wonders why this federal government has continued to embarrass, harass, intimidate and torture justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria by using armed security forces to invade their privacy with the aim of getting them to become afraid and to do the bidding of the executive arm of government.
In a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) condemns the raid on the premises of the Supreme Court’s Justice Mrs. Mary Odili whose husband, former Rivers State’s governor Mr. Peter Odili belonged to the main opposition political party- Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and who had only just defeated the Nigerian Immigration Service in the competent court of law and retrieved his international travelling document which was seized at the International Airport Abuja.
Reacting to the news of the siege at the home of Supreme Court Justice Mary Odili the Rights group said it was unfortunate that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has become a full blown dictatorship going by the patterns of horrendous attacks of persons perceived as not pliable or amenable to be used as instruments of vendetta and political witch hunt.
The Rights group said Mrs. Mary Odili may have been targeted not just for being the wife of a prominent elder of the main opposition political party of the Peoples Democratic Party but most likely because of her consistency in giving sound, qualitative, merit and law based judgments at the Supreme Court of Nigeria particularly in some cases that the ruling All Progressive Congress may have vested interest.
“We think the military invasion was aimed at harassing her into playing the role of the good puppet of the President because the officials of the Federal government are aware of her pedigree and her reputation as a no nonsense judge who renders judgement based on facts, evidence and the laws “, HURIWA affirmed.
Besides, HURIWA condemns the federal government for authorising the raid and the dangerous siege at the home of the revered jurist of the highest court in the land going by the disclosure made by the Chief magistrate in Abuja to the effect that the Justice ministry in Abuja lied to obtain a search warrant which the armed agencies relied upon to collectively invade the home of the Supreme Court Justice in Maitama Abuja and interrupted the free flow of traffic of hundreds of Nigerians.
Citing media report, HURIWA recalled that a Chief Magistrates’ Court had revoked a search warrant granted to the Joint Panel Recovery unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice to search the home of Supreme Court Justice Mary Odili.
HURIWA recalled that the panel, which comprises the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigeria Police Force and the Ministry of Justice, had obtained a search warrant from the magistrates’ court after a so called whistle-blower, Aliyu Umar, claimed to have observed illegal activities going on at No. 9, Imo Street, Maitama, Abuja.
Umar’s affidavit dated October 13, 2021, 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 the chief magistrate in Abuja seeking a search warrant to search the house.
HURIWA recalled that the Chief Magistrate, Emmanuel Iyanna, who subsequently approved the search warrant on October 29, 2021 later revoked it claiming that the Applicants for the search warrants deceived him into issuing the search warrants going by what he termed misrepresentation.
Similarly, HURIWA condemned the EFCC who through its 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.”
HURIWA has therefore called on the EFCC to apologise publicly to Nigerians for lying that it never participated in the raid because the information made available to the Nigerian public from the Chief magistrate shows otherwise that the EFCC was in the team of armed security invaders of the home of Justice Mary Odili.
HURIWA is therefore demanding that strong sanctions are slammed on the individuals who lied under oath to obtain by trick the search warrant that the armed team relied on to invade the premises of the Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria just as the Rights group said if the Federal government fails to charge for perjury the persons who got the search warrant on the basis of falsehood, it will then become notorious that we now have a bunch of persons in the Federal Government who are not only professional liars but are persons who are totally unfit to occupy any position of responsibility in the twenty first century Nigeria.