A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome, has said the Friday’s raid on the residence of Mary Odili, a justice of the Supreme Court, could be politically motivated to embarrass her.
Ripples Nigeria reported that security operatives had on Friday night invaded the home of the Justice, who is second in line to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko, on information that “illegal activities” were going on there.
Ozekhome, who visited Odili’s house after the incident, said the raid was capable of making Nigeria a laughing stock in the international community.
“She didn’t resist any search. I believe that they would have found that they were committing terrible hara-kiri, that is, giving them the benefit of the doubt.
“The other theory which is also powerful is that it is politically motivated, deliberately contrived as artifice and designed to embarrass this cerebral justice of the supreme court and to embarrass her husband.
“Of course, the husband is a well-known PDP titan, and tomorrow is the PDP convention. Could it have been designed to rake up issues and make it look like they were trying to go after him to demoralise the delegates for tomorrow’s convention? That is another theory.
“But whatever theory, one thing is clear to me, we are gradually moving towards the precipice of calling ourselves a banana republic. Nowhere in the world would secret agents just bump into the house of a justice of the supreme court and a former governor with an empty search warrant with no name written on it,” Ozekhome said.
Meanwhile, documents had revealed that the warrant presented by the security operatives to search Justice Odili’s house carried a wrong address.
The security operatives, who stormed Odili’s residence on Friday, said they received information on “illegal activities” going on in the house.
According to reports, a whistleblower, one Aliyu Ibrahim, had on October 13, deposed to an affidavit stating that he “observed some illegal activities going on in some houses within Abuja and its environs”.
“That I am sure and convinced that the kind of activities going on in those houses within Abuja is illegal and hereby report the said matter to the law enforcement agency,” the affidavit read
However, Ripples Nigeria learnt that the address on the warrant, which was granted on Friday by Emmanuel Iyanna, a chief magistrate at Wuse zone 6 magistrate court, was not that of the judge.
While Odili’s address is 7, Imo river street, Maitama, the address on the warrant is 9, Imo Street, Maitama.
The search warrant also did not carry the name of the occupants of the premises.
Speaking to journalists at the premises on Friday, Mike Ozekhome, lawyer to Odili, described the warrant as one with “fundamental flaws”.
“It is a fundamental flaw. A search warrant must have the name of the person that you want to carry out a search on his or her house,” he said.
“Also, if they were looking for Imo street, they should look for Imo street elsewhere. There is an Imo close nearby. There is another Imo close somewhere in Garki, but this place is number 7, Imo river street.
“For that reason alone, they missed the point badly. If one wants to give them the benefit of doubt, one can say it was a genuine mistake which was why they quietly withdrew, contrary to the information circulating that justice Odili resisted search.
“On the other hand, it might be politically motivated to embarrass the justice of the supreme court and to embarrass her husband,”