Court revoked search warrant for Justice Mary Odili’s residence.
Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Iyanna of Wuse Zone 6 magisterial division in Abuja has admitted that the Federal Ministry of Justice, led by Attorney-General Abubakar Malami, duped him into signing a search warrant for the residence of a top Supreme Court justice, Mary Odili.
As a result of the misrepresentation in the first information application provided by an ad hoc public asset recovery panel domiciled under the justice ministry and overseen by Mr Malami, Mr Iyanna revoked the search warrant he had approved against Justice Mary Odili’s residence.
In a new order, the senior magistrate stated, “Upon misrepresentation to this honourable court that led to the issuance of a search warrant in favour of Joint Panel Recovery, Ministry of Justice, against House 9, Imo Street, Maitama, Abuja, dated October 29, 2021,” “The said search warrant is hereby revoked in light of the foregoing fact.”
Mr Iyanna’s order came just hours after Ejes Gist News reported that armed operatives attempted to break into Mrs Odili’s home on Maitama’s Imo Rivers Street.
Officers arrived at the residence with a warrant issued based on information provided by a whistleblower from Aliyu Umar, an Abuja resident. Mr Umar testified on October 13 that illegal activities were taking place at 9, Imo Street, Maitama, and that law enforcement should intervene immediately. The tip-off was also given to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, according to court documents.
Mr Iyanna responded by issuing a search warrant for the property on October 29. Following that, operatives were dispatched to Mrs Odili’s home on the evening of October 29, the same day the warrant was approved, to conduct a forcible search. According to our sources, the Supreme Court judge turned down the request to search her home because she had no pending cases with anti-corruption authorities.
Mrs Odili also claimed that the warrant was not issued for her because she lives at 7, Imo River Street, Maitama, rather than 9, Imo Street, Maitama, as the warrant stated. Despite this, the operatives laid siege to the residence for several hours.
Document filed in court
Despite the fact that the whistleblower stated in court documents that he gave his findings to the EFCC and that one of the operatives told Newsmen that the EFCC led the operation, the anti-graft agency denied any involvement.
The EFCC’s spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said in a statement to Ejes Gist News late Friday, said “if there was any such operation” in which Mrs Odili’s house was besieged by anti-graft operatives, “it was not carried out by the EFCC.”
Mrs Odili’s husband, Peter, was being investigated by the EFCC for alleged fraud dating back to his time as governor of Rivers between 1999 and 2007. Mr Odili has denied the charges, and his international passport was ordered to be released earlier this week by a federal judge.
Lawrence Ajodo, the chief police superintendent, also signed off on the operation, and The Gazette’s sources previously stated that police officers were involved.
Following the revocation of their warrant, the officers left Mrs Odili’s home. Mr Malami, whose controversial role in alleged anti-democratic moves by the administration contributed to his new status as a formidable force in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, has been harshly criticised as a result of the development.
Mr Malami backed the State Security Service in 2016, when its brutal agents broke into the homes of over a dozen federal judges, including three Supreme Court justices at the time. To restore peace in the country’s most volatile areas, the attorney-general recently proposed suspending the Nigerian Constitution and declaring martial law.