From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Fresh facts have emerged to the effect that the raid carried out on the home of Supreme Court Justice Mary Odili by the joint Panel Recovery Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice followed a petition by a whistleblower, Aliyu Umar.
Armed with a warrant issued by the hand of an Abuja Chief Magistrate, Emmanuel Iyana on October 29, the panel, which comprises the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigeria Police Force and the Ministry of Justice, stormed the No. 9, Imo Street, Maitama, Abuja.
In the said petition, Umar, claimed to have observed illegal activities going on at the home.
Umar’s affidavit dated October 13, 2021, read in part, “I have observed some illegal activities going on in those houses within Abuja are illegal and hereby report the said matter to the law enforcement agency.
“I hereby state that all information provided by me to the EFCC is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.”
In a second affidavit deposed to by a senior police officer, CSP Lawrence Ajodo, the panel applied to the chief magistrate in Abuja seeking a search warrant to search the house.
Meanwhile, the Chief Magistrate court has revoked the search warrant on the ground it was misled into granting the order.
The order read, “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. In view of the above fact, the said search warrant is hereby revoked.”
Following the uproar that greeted the development the EFCC Spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said, in a statement, that the commission had no hand in the matter and advised members of the public to disregard any news to the contrary.
The statement read in part, “The attention the EFCC has been drawn to claims in a section of the media that operatives of the commission today, October 29, 2021 stormed the Maitama, Abuja home of a Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Mary Odili, purportedly to execute a search.
“The commission, by this statement, wishes to inform the public that the report is false as it did not carry out any operation at the home of Justice Odili. If there was any such operation as claimed by the media, it was not carried out by the EFCC. The commission enjoins the public to discountenance the report.”
The ex-governor recently sued the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) over the seizure of his international passport, which the NIS claimed was informed by a request from the EFCC, which claimed to have placed Odili on its watch list.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja ordered the release of the passport in a judgment given on October 18.
Justice Ekwo, who declared the NIS’ action as illegal, ordered the service to among others, publicly apologise to the ex-governor.