The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered an investigation into the raid of the Abuja home of a justice of the Supreme Court, Mary Odili, by security operatives last Friday.
Mr Baba denied knowledge of the invasion or ordering the operation, according to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba.
He described the incident as unfortunate and unacceptable.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the State Security Service (SSS) have also denied involvement in the raid.
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, whose office was also linked to the incident has also denied knowledge of the incident.
Mr Malami, in a statement, on Saturday, urged police authorities to investigate the raid on the grounds that the document disclosed the only signatory to be a police officer.
The author of the application asking the magistrate court for the search warrant had cited an ongoing investigation of the information provided by a whistleblower on alleged illegal activities at the residence.
The signatory was Lawrence Ajodo, identified as a chief superintendent of police in the document.
In the first official reaction by the police authority, Mr Mba on Monday said the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) has been directed to conduct a discrete investigation into the incident.
He said the perpetrators would face the wrath of the law.
“The IGP, who noted that the leadership of the Force is not aware and did not at any time order Police operatives to carry out such assignment, described the reported violation of the sanctity of the residence of the Justice of the Supreme Court as unfortunate and unacceptable.
“Consequently, the IGP has directed the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) to conduct a discrete investigation into the incident. He assured the commitment of the Force to the safety and security of the members of the Judiciary and Nigerians in general.”
He called for calm, promising that the police “will do all within its powers to unravel the perpetrators and motives behind the breach with a view to bringing all indicted persons to book.”
He “assured that the details of police investigations would be made public.”
Provide security around judge’s home
Meanwhile, the IGP also directed the Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to strengthen the security around the residence of Mrs Odili.
This, he said, was to ensure her safety and also to prevent a reoccurrence of the unfortunate incident.
The incident has been widely condemned by many who draw a parallel between it and the invasion of some judges homes by the State Security Service in 2016.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), on Saturday, described the act as an “affront on the judiciary, designed to intimidate and ridicule the judiciary.”
NBA President Olumide Akpata said in a statement that the association would hold an emergency meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) on the matter.
No date was disclosed for the meeting.
“To be clear, last night’s event is an affront on the judiciary and grossly undermines the democracy that we profess to practise.
“In line with the aims and objectives of the NBA which include the protection and defence of the independence of the Judiciary and the rule of law in Nigeria, we will be convening an emergency meeting of the NBA National Executive Committee solely to discuss this issue and take a definitive stand on behalf of the NBA,” Mr Akpata said.
The NBA president also said he would lead a delegation to meet with the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, and the heads of the various security agencies.
This, he said, would be done, “to seek further clarification on the circumstances of this incident.”
He also demanded that those responsible must be brought to book.
It is not clear if the NBA had met with the police authorities or any of the officials its leadership promised to meet with as of Monday.
Mrs Odili is the wife of a former governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili.
The invasion of Mrs Odili’s residence was initially linked to an acclaimed investigation of Mr Odili by the EFCC.
The EFCC had made a move to prosecute Mr Odili after he left office after two terms as governor in 2007, but was barred by the Federal High Court which issued a perpetual injunction restraining EFCC and other security agencies from arresting him.
Recently, Mr Odili filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge the seizure of his passport by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) which claimed to have acted on EFCC’s instruction.
Delivering judgement in the suit earlier in October, the judge, Inyang Ekwo, ordered the NIS to release Mr Odili’s passport, while also affirming the previous court decisions prohibiting his prosecution.
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