“We wish to make it abundantly clear that judiciary is the third arm of the government” – Supreme Court talks tough over raid on Justice Mary Odili

The Supreme Court of Nigeria on Tuesday faulted the last week’s invasion of the residence of Justice Mary Odili by security operatives, describing it as impunity taken too far.

The apex court warned that judiciary should not be misconstrued by any individual or institution of government as the weeping child among the three arms of government.

The Supreme Court, in a statement by its Director of Press and Information, Dr. Festus Akande, described the attack as an uncivilised and shameful show of primitive force on an innocent judicial officer.

The statement reads in part, “We are alarmed with the news of the unwarranted and despicable raid on the official residence of one of our senior justices in the Supreme Court, Justice Mary Odili, on Friday, October 29 2021 in a 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.

“This incident brought back, rather painfully, the ugly memory of the October 2016 midnight invasion of the homes of our respected justices with no satisfactory explanations as to the true motive behind such brazen assault on our collective sensibility.

“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.”

The apex court said it has commenced a full-scale independent investigation to unravel those behind the invasion as well as the real motives behind it.

“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,” it added.

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