Siege On Justice Odili’s Home, An Impunity Taken Too Far – Supreme Court

A file photo of Justice Mary-Peter-Odili.

 

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has condemned the siege carried out on the home of Justice Mary Odili in Abuja by some security operatives, describing it as unlawful and impunity taken too far.

It also described the attack as uncivilised and a shameful show of primitive force on an innocent judicial officer.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by its Director of Press and Information, Akande Festus, on Tuesday.

The apex court said it was deeply saddened by the incident, adding that it brought back painful and ugly memories of the October 2016 midnight invasion of the homes of their respective justices, with no satisfactory explanations as to the true motive behind such brazen assault on their collective sensibility.

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The statement added that the judiciary is the third arm of government and it should be respected and treated as such.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court says it has commenced an independent investigation to unravel the true perpetrators and their motives, while urging the Inspector General of Police, to carry out a discreet investigation and make its findings known to the public as soon as possible.

EFCC Denies Involvement In Raid On Justice Odili’s Home

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday denied it carried out an operation on the home of Justice Mary Odili.

Reports of a raid on her home were condemned by the Commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, who noted that none of its officers carried out any operation on the Justice’s home.

There had been reports earlier that the EFCC had gone to Justice Odili’s home to execute a search warrant, as part of investigations into her husband, former Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili.

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“None of our operatives was there,” EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said when he appeared on Channels Television’s News at 10.

“It is not an EFCC thing. I have called all the security and law enforcement agencies in the country and they also denied that anybody has been sent to the house to carry out any search or arrest.

“A lot of people are trying to put us at loggerheads with the judiciary. And as you are aware, the work that we do, the judiciary is our biggest partner. They are just trying to cause problem where there is no problem.”

Court Orders Immigration To Release Peter Odili’s Passport

A photo combination of the Federal High Court Abuja and ex-Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili.
A photo combination of the Federal High Court Abuja and ex-Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili.

 

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, has ordered the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to immediately release the international passport of the former governor of Rivers State Peter Odili.

Delivering the Judgement on Monday, the ruling judge declared the seizure by the service as illegal, unconstitutional and an infringement of his fundamental rights.

He further ordered the service, to tender an apology to the former governor, and restrained the NIS from harassing and intimidating him from leaving the country or moving freely within the country.

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Justice Ekwo added that the seizure of the former governor’s passport, was a punitive act and no citizen should be treated in such a manner, irrespective of status.

The former governor had filed a suit against the immigration service challenging the seizure of his passport at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on 20 June 2021, upon his arrival into the country.

The service, however, told the court that it acted based on Mr Odili’s presence on a EFCC corruption watchlist.

Court Fixes October 8 To Hear Suit Filed By Ex-Rivers Gov. Peter Odili

Former Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed October 8, to hear the fundamental rights suit filed by former Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili, against the Nigerian Immigration Service.

The former governor had taken the service to court, challenging the alleged seizure of his passport, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on his arrival into the country from the United Kingdom.

The service, however, claims that the passport of the former governor was seized because he was placed on the watchlist of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, counsel to the former governor and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe told the court that the immigration service served a preliminary objection on him, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit.

He also asked for time to respond.

While acknowledging that he served a preliminary objection on the counsel to the former governor, counsel to the service, Mr. Jimoh Adamu, added that they were only working on the directive of the EFCC.

The trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, adjourned the matter, urging Mr. Adedipe to ensure he serves his response on the immigration service, before the next adjourned date.

Peter Odili Sues Nigerian Immigration Over Passport Seizure

Peter Odili (File Photo)

 

Former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has dragged the Nigeria Immigration Service, before a Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the seizure of his passport at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

In the fundamental rights enforcement suit on Wednesday, he claimed that the international passport was seized from him on June 20, by operatives of the service and has been withheld since then.

Odili prayed the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, to compel the service to release the passport and order a perpetual injunction against the respondents, from harassing him any further and interfering with his fundamental rights of movement.

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However, the immigration service revealed that the former governor’s passport was seized because he was on the watchlist of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The affidavit by the service also indicated that Mr Odili had never cared to know why his passport was seized, or demand its release.

Justice Mohammed subsequently fixed September 28, 2021 for hearing.

President Buhari Celebrates Peter Odili At 70

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has celebrated a former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, as he marked his 70th birthday on August 15.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President recognised the important contributions Odili has made to the development of his immediate community, the Niger Delta region, the nation and humanity in general, as a physician and former governor.

“As a statesman and Knight Commander of the Order of St Sylvester in the Catholic Church, the President appreciates Sir Odili’s role in fostering peaceful and harmonious environment in the wider Niger Delta region through peaceful engagement and meaningful dialogue, in line with this administration’s commitment to peace, stability and development in the region,” the statement said.

The president prayed that God provides him with good health and fulfilment.

“As family, friends, colleagues and well-wishers gather to celebrate Dr Odili’s milestones and achievements, President Buhari prays God Almighty to sustain him with continued good health and fulfillment in the coming years”.

Jonathan Felicitates With Dr. Peter Odili On 65th Birthday

President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated former governor of Rivers state, Dr. Peter Odili on the occasion of his 65th birthday anniversary which comes up tomorrow, Thursday, August 15, 2013.

The president wrote that On behalf of himself, his family, the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he is conveying a “very warm felicitations” to Dr. Odili.

“I pray that Almighty God continues to guide, guard and prosper you, even as he blesses you with abounding health and many more years of personal fulfilment and distinguished service to humanity and our dear country, Nigeria,” the President wrote.

President Jonathan wished the former governor, a very happy birthday celebrations.

Amaechi To Partner With Rotary International On Development

Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has indicated the willingness of his government to work with a humanitarian organization, Rotary International, to develop the state.

Amaechi was speaking when the District Governor of Rotary International, District 9140, Nigeria, Rotarian Onyebuchi C. Onuoha with other notable Rotarians paid him a courtesy visit at Government House in Port Harcourt.

The governor also announced that he has handed the management of the Kesley Harrison Hospital and the Ultra-Modern Maxillo-Facial Dental Hospital built by his administration to foreign partners for efficiency and maximum benefits to the people.

Governor Amaechi thanked rotary international for their roles during the recent flood disaster in the state.

He further revealed that the state is in partnership with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to build two new mother and child hospitals at the Air Force Base and the old University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital premises.

Earlier, leader of the delegation and District Governor of Rotary International, District 9140, Nigeria, Onyebuchi C. Onuoha said they were in Rivers State to assess performance of Rotary Clubs in District 9140, made up of 11 states in the South-South and South-East geopolitical zones of the country.

He equally commended Amaechi for his support for the Super Eagles and congratulated him on their victory at the  just concluded Africa Cup of Nations Football tournament.

“I want to congratulate you for the victory of our own Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of Nations.  I say this because I know your role in support of the Super Eagles in achieving this feat.  Having said that, Rotary like we all know is a not-for-profit organization of business and professional, and community leaders with the passion to do good in the world.  As the District Governor for Rotary International District 9140 which is made up of the 11 states of the South-South and South-East geopolitical zones of this country, I am in Port Harcourt, Rivers State to visit Rotary Clubs in zones 21 and 22 to assess their performance, how well they are performing in line with our Rotary International theme for the year which is ‘peace through service’ and I stand to say so far so good”.

The Rotary District Governor thanked Governor Amaechi for supporting the Rotary International and praised him for his efforts in the fight against polio.

“I want to thank and appreciate you  and people of Rivers State for the support you have given to the Rotary Foundation.  I know that you and your wife are major donors. Now the end-polio-now project, this has been our flagship project since 1985 and I will on behalf of Rotary International, District 9140 thank you immensely for your support in this. ”.

Onuoha recalled that the Rotary had  helped the recent flood victims in the State with materials and medications.  He further said the organization had built public toilets, deep-water wells, provided micro-credit scheme and scholarship and renovated police posts among others.

Among those on the delegation was the former Rivers State Deputy Governor in the Dr. Peter Odili administration, Sir Gabriel Toby.

Amaechi takes over reconstruction of fallen Airforce bridge

The Rivers state governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has assured the residents of Port Harcourt of a speedy and permanent solution to the frail Air Force Bridge whose retaining wall partly caved in and collapsed after a heavy downpour on Sunday night.

Mr Amaechi was speaking during an unscheduled inspection of the bridge where a section of its retaining wall collapsed at the Nigerian Air Force Junction in the Obio Akpor local government axis of Rivers state.

Debunking some media reports, he said that the bridge itself did not collapse rather; it was the retaining wall that collapsed.

The governor, who blamed the poor construction of the bridge on the former contractor Bulletin Construction, said there was a need to rebuild the embankment to the bridge.

He however noted that talks were on to take over the reconstruction of the bridge.

He also ordered that traffic be redirected to reduce traffic congestion on the Aba Road which has already built up. This, he said, is done to negotiate and ensure that the pricing for the reconstruction of the flyover did not skyrocket and follows due process.

Speaking on other road projects in the state, Mr Amaechi dispelled rumours that roads built by his administration are not durable, according to him, the complaints about Choba/Rumuokwuta Road is because the road has not been completed.

He said “the problem with Choba Road is that first, it has not been completed, it is still at binder course…, secondly is that we have not directed away the water from the drain so you have a crisis where water is affecting the structure of the road”.

The Air Force Bridge was constructed in 2006 by Bulletin Construction Company during governor Peter Odili’s administration.

 

 

Nigerian lawyers are corrupt – former minister

A former minister of information, Chief Edwin Clark has called on the Nigerian judicial system to put its house in order, claiming that both the bar and bench have thrown away ethics of the profession.

The Ijaw leader made this known on Wednesday in Abuja, where he was the guest lecturer of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies’ (NIALS) annual lecture on the State of the Federation.

According to Chief Clark, “The Bench and The Bar have some questions to answer.”

“Both the bench and the bar are not doing anything to address corruption and if nothing is done about it, Nigeria will remain in the bottom list of corrupt countries in the world” he affirmed.

He made an example of an injunction granted the former governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili by a Court that prevents any possibility of him facing a trial in the country.

“Peter Odili was found to have stolen N100billion of Rivers state fund and today he is a free man and parading himself as a state’s man” he said.

Citing more complicities of judges and lawyers, Chief Clark named former governors such as Joshua Dariye, Ayo Fayose, Saminu Turaki, Uzor Orji Kalu, as some of the former governors whose trial on corruption charges are stalling in courts due to series of adjournments, and injunctions by their lawyers and judges.

“Their cases are adjourned and adjourned and nothing is happening” he stated annoyingly.

After alleging that former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode embezzled some funds, meant for the aviation sector, the Ijaw leader stated that “Femi Fani-Kayode is now parading himself as a moral icon, so why will people not steal” Chief Edwin Clark asked.

“If we don’t fix corruption in this country…we are going nowhere” he concluded.

 

Nigeria may collapse without a National Conference-Clark

As the National Assembly gears to undertake the fourth amendment of the 1999 Constitution, elder statesman Chief Edwin Clark, has enjoined the legislators to hold on for suggestions from a National Conference before going ahead with the task.

The Ijaw leader made this known on Wednesday in Abuja, where he was the guest lecturer of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies’ (NIALS) annual lecture on the State of the Federation.

On what to do with the 1999 Constitution, whether to amend or re-write a brand new Constitution, Chief Clark stated that “a Constitution must be written by the people”, adding that “but it is only an amendment of the Constitution that will be keep this country together because if a new Constitution is written it will only benefit the devils-the politicians.”

Speaking on the call for a Sovereign National Conference, the 85 year old stated that “what we need is a National Conference and not a Sovereign National Conference because the result of the sovereign national conference can go anyway.”

He welcomed the conveying of a National Conference “to and discuss the basis of our existence as a nation.” “We have never done this since Lord Luggard put us together in 1914 and a fiat Floral Shaw gave us the name Nigeria” he said.

According to the veteran politician “only a national conference can provide the basis for Nigeria’s unity.”

He appealed to the federal government to “convene a National Conference where we (Nigerians) can discuss the basis of our country, where we can discuss corruption, marginalisation and every other thing.”

“The suggestions of this conference will then be submitted to the National Assembly before the Constitution Amendment is carried out. This is the only way we can have a People’s Constitution”