By Lateef Adegbite
The last may not have been heard of the Criminal invasion of Mary Odili, wife of Peter Odili, a former governor of Rivers state and a Justice of the Supreme Court, residence in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on October 29, 2021.
Prior to the invasion of the residence of the Rivers state born Supreme Court Justice, who sources said is one of the top Justices of the Supreme Court tfavoured to be the next Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, peradventure , if Justice Tanko Mohammad, the present CJN, retires from the Bench. The argument making the rounds was that the plot may have been hatched by the Syndicate and their sponsors, to forestall her being appointed the next CJN, whenever the position becomes vacant, to avoid giving the Opposition People’s Democratic Party , PDP, which the husband is a Chieftain, the upper hand , in the 2023, general elections.
Odili, the former Rivers state governor, who many believe has Presidential ambition, even when he has not signified his intention to vie for the exalted Office had been on the watch list of the government that the Nigerian Immigration’s Service, NIS, on orders from above had seized his Passport at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internal Airport, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on his arrival from the North American country of the United States, US, on June 20, 21, giving people the impression that it has a political undertone.
He had dragged the NIS to Court to recover his Passport but the agency had had that it was seized based on the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, after ‘’placing him on the watchlist’’.The former Rivers state governor had secured a Court for the NIS, to release his International Passport but the agency is still foot dragging to so.
While the PDP Chieftain and former governor of Rivers state is still on the neck of the NIS, to recover his Passport, the worst happened. This time around, Justice Mary Odili, who is on the line up to be selected as the next Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, whenever the Seat becomes vacant if Tanko Mohammad, the present the,CJN, retires from the Bench anytime soon.
This may have fueled the speculations making the rounds that the raid on her residence may have been well plotted and executed in order to intimidate her and the entire Odili Family. The invasion of the Rivers state born, Supreme Court Justice was so embarrassing to the nation and the International Community that the Nigeria’s apex Court was forced to speak out declaring that ‘’enough is enough’’ of intimidation of the Judiciary.
Indeed, the invasion of the Supreme Court Justice’s residence may have encouraged the Nigerian Judiciary, which is the third arm of government , to warn that ‘’it cannot only bark but bite’’, stressing ‘’it can no longer be treated with disdain and levity’’. The invasion of Justice Odili’s residence, may have given ammunition to the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, particular, Nyenson Wike, the governor of Rivers state, to attack the President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, led- All Progressive Congress, APC, government of trying to muscle up the country’s Judiciary ahead of the country’s 2023 general elections.
At a special Court session to mark the opening of the 2021/2022 , Legal year in the south –south state, on Thursday, November 11, 2021, Wike had said that the Buhari led APC, government , at the Federal Level, wants ‘’ to continue to ride roughshod unchecked over the Rule of Law and the sanctity of the country’s electoral system, hence, the renewed attack on the Judicial Officers’’.
The governor, who could not hide his feelings noted that ‘‘the attack on Justice Odili’s residence is a prelude ‘’ to many more and even worse political maneuverings the country should be prepared to experience from the APC-led Federal government’’.
The attack on the Justice Odili’s residence was so indicting on the country’s security agencies, personnel, particular, the NPF, that Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police was forced to speak out on November 1, 2021, stating that ‘’the Force did not authorize any of its security operatives ‘’to carry out any assignment in or around the residence of Justice Mary Odili and subsequently, directed the FIB, ‘’to carry out a discreet investigation with the aim of bringing the perpetrators to book’’.
True to his words, the Force had arrested and paraded 14 persons who were said to have been paraded on NTA and other Television stations, across the country, on Thursday, November 11, 2021, in ‘’connection with the illegal invasion of Justice Odili, the Supreme Court Justice’s residence. With the arrest of the fourteen suspects who had invaded Justice Odidli’s residence, the Force that the police had shown that they have the capacity and personnel to carry out any investigations.
According to Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police and the Force spokesperson, one of the suspects arrested was one Lawrence Ajodo, a fake Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, described as the Principal suspect, Stanley Nkwazema, a veteran Journalist and an Islamic Scholar, among others. The NPF, spokesperson had said that ‘’three vehicles, a Laptop, printer and Flash drive used for the production of Fake identity Cards were recovered from the suspects’’.
He had said that the suspects were arrested following ‘’investigations conducted by the detectives from the FIB’’, which was said ‘’to have clearly revealed the Criminal involvement of the fourteen persons arrested and the individual roles played in the invasion of the Supreme Court Justice’s residence’’ .
Given an insider information on how the FIB investigators penetrated the ranks of the syndicate, Mba, the Police Commissioner, had reported that one Aliyu Umar Ibrahim, an acclaimed whistleblower, following a baseless and unverified information he had got from one Yusuf Adamu, parading himself as the grandson of Chief Odili, the former Rivers governor, had said that ‘’there is huge sum of money in Foreign currencies stashed in the residence of the Supreme Court Justice located at No.7 ,Imo River street, maitama, a high brown Area, of Abuja and thus, initiated ‘’the process aimed at illegally recovering the said money’’.The syndicate were said to have contacted one Bashir Musa, a Clerical Staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and who in turn was said to have sought the assistance of two others, Shehu Jibo and Abdullahi Adamu.
The whistle blower was said to have been introduced to one Bayero Lawal, who had presented himself as a Director in the Abdulrasheed Bawa, led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC . He was said to have taken the whistle blower to one Hajia Maimuna Maishanu, who took them to one Michael Diete Spiff, her arranged Cousin, who claimed to be the Director of Foreign Currency Operations of a Ghost ‘s Account for Local whistle blowers &, Assets Recovery Panel, purported operating under the Federal ministry of Justice that does not exit.
The alleged Diete Spiff, was said to have later introduced the whistleblower to the Principal suspect Ajodo, with the aid of one Godwin, a CSP, and also the officer in-charge of a non –existing Asset Recovery Panel at the Federal ministry of Justice, who was said to have taking over ‘’the planning and execution of the illicit operation’’ .
The FIB reports further shows that through the assistance of one Ayodele Kindipe, an herbalist, the fake CSP, had engaged the services of an Assistant Superintendent of Police and two soldiers for the failed operation. The fake CSP, who had solicited the services of Nkwazena, the Media person, as well as Alex Onyekuru and Igwe Earnest,who are Lawyers. Nkwazena, the Journalist, who was recruited for the illicit Operation ‘’to play the blackmail role while the Layers are to help the Syndicate in perfecting Court documents and processes’’.
The FIB, had reported that that the Fake CSP had deposed ‘’to an affidavit in a Magistrate Court and eventually obtained a’’ search warrant for the execution of the raid in Justice Odili’s residence’’. They got it wrong. This sis because they were resisted by the by the agile police officers on guard in the Supreme Court Justice residence, who did not allow ‘’to execute the search warrant’’.
There is no gain saying the fact that Ajodo, the Principal suspect was an imposter and not really a Police Officer as he falsely claimed, the Ghost’s Account for Local whistleblowers & amp, Asset Recovery Panel, purported operating under the Federal ministry of Justice does not exist neither was it registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC.
But the question on the lips of most people was ‘’how the signature of Abubakar Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and Attorney General of the Federation and minister of Justice , on the ID presented by the Fake CSP, during the raid was forged.
Even the search warrant which the suspects were said to have procured from a Magistrate Court for purposes of searching the Supreme Court Justice residence was said to have also be obtained under false presentation of the ID Card.’The entire Criminal operation, the Police FIB investigators, had said has ‘’no authorization of any known security agency official or Federal government ministry or Department’’, meaning that it was plotted and executed by the Criminal gang.Malami, the AGF, who may not want want his name to be dragged to the mud, by Ajodo, the Principal suspect, has distanced himself from him over the siege on Justice Odili’s residence. Note that he has claimed to be a Consultant for the Office of the AGF.
A Statement signed by Umar Gwandu, spokesperson, in the ofthe AGF, had described Fake CSP Ajodo’s case as that of a ‘’drowning man scanvenging for dying partner’’. The Statement reads in part: The attention of the Hnourable Attorney General of the Federation and minister of Justice has been drawn to a Confession of a suspect during interrogation in the investigation of the recent invasion of the residence of the respected Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Mary Peter Odili.
He noted that with all the Competent, high level Professionals and Capable human resources available at the disposal of the minister, how he could have descended ‘’so low to engaging a quack or Fake Police Officer as a Consultant’’. We are happy to note that investigation has commenced to unravel the circumstances and personalities behind the invasion and sponsored Campaign of Calumny against the AGF and minister of Justice.
TheMedia Aide believes that there are people who determined to drag the minister’s personality and name into the mud in the murky waters of Nigerian politics I an orchestrated attempt ‘’to stir unnecessary controversies and public apprehension’’. He would want the FIB investigators ‘’to disclose those who are after the AGF’’ insisting that the minister of Justice ‘’superintends over and respects the rule of law and will not want to do anything to undermine the sanctity of his Office and the entire Judiciary and the country’s Justice sector’’.