Senate fingers Malami, EFCC over invasion of Justice Odili’s residence

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The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday condemned the invasion of the Abuja home of Justice Mary Odili by security operatives, demanding that all those involved be apprehended and prosecuted.

Reacting to the home invasion after Senator Betty Apiafi, representing Rivers West, mentioned it during plenary, the Senate said a joint panel recovery unit of the Ministry of Justice, comprising the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), police and Ministry of Justice, was behind the invasion.

It said the establishments sought a search warrant from an FCT Magistrate for the operation after “a so-called whistleblower claimed to have observed illegal activities allegedly going on in a house at Imo street, Maitama.”

In a statement, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had denied involvement in the raid.

In her motion on the “Urgent need to investigate the invasion of Justice Odili’s residence by security agents,” Senator Apiafi expressed worry over the invasion of homes of senior judicial officers.

According to her, “The Senate is worried that this incident brings back to mind similar invasion of homes of some senior judicial officers, including chief judges of the Supreme Court and judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja and other parts of the country in October 2016, which was widely condemned.

“Further worried that the home of such a highly revered judicial officer could be raided in such a manner by security agents. The Senate is disturbed that 11 days after the incident, though the Inspector General of Police claims some arrests have been made and investigations are still ongoing, even though the details of such arrest have not been made public.”

On his part, Senator George Thompson Sekibo, representative of Rivers East, recalled that the Port Harcourt residence of Justice Odili was invaded some months ago.

“A couple of months ago, Justice Mary Odili’s residence was also invaded. Several reasons were given why thugs invaded the house. I don’t want to mention the reasons so that it does not bring in controversy.

“Recently, as the motion said, the house in Abuja was also invaded. (And) then after a struggle, the security agents that invaded the place left the residence. They claimed to have brought a warrant from a Magistrates Court in Abuja.

“They claimed the Minister of Justice was aware of it. There are several claims. The minister of justice has denied and dissociated himself from that; the chairman of EFCC has also done that.

“I have read statements by the Inspector General of Police that he has made some arrests and that they are investigating the matter. My problem is this; oftentimes, things happen, and then the police investigate, and in most cases, we don’t get the result of the investigation. I pray that this investigation comes to the limelight.”

While commending the police for making arrests and constituting a panel to investigate the raid on Odili’s residence, the Senate asked the IGP to make public all findings of investigations.