Invasion of Justice Odili’s home: Nigerian Bar Association vows to unmask, bring culprits to justice

The  Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said on Thursday that it’s members are thoroughly dissatisfied with the denials emanating from the relevant agencies and departments of government over the security operatives invasion of Justice Mary Odili resident on October 29,2021.

NBA President Akpata.

NBA’s  President Mr Olumide Akpata  made  the position of lawyers on the issue know during a valedictory Court session in Abuja in honour of late Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chukwudumebi Oseji .

According to him, ” We have vowed to leave no stone unturned in our bid to unmask all those behind this attack and to bring to justice anyone found culpable, no matter how highly placed.”

Akpata also warned lawyers in Nigeria against raising  discordant tunes in condemnation of attempts to desecrate the sanctity of the country’s judiciary.

Condemning “the recent sting operation by faceless security operatives on the residence of a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Mary Peter-Odili,” NBA boss insisted that lawyers as ministers in the temple of justice must speak in one voice  against any evil against the bench.

According to him”the cacophony of often discordant voices emanating from what ordinarily should be one Bar, on this same issue, has almost become comical and those to whom we purport to direct our umbrage may be forgiven for not taking us seriously.

“It serves no useful purpose, after the NBA has clearly articulated a position on such a serious matter, for other groups within the association, whether they be a body of senior or junior advocates, to muddy the waters by embarking on needless road-shows and issuing statements that only serve to portray our association, and indeed our approach to the issue at hand, as uncoordinated and ultimately ineffective.”

He reiterated that” NBA is the only voice of the legal profession in Nigeria and it has spoken unequivocally on this issue and shall follow this up with unmistakable resolve.”

He said that “In this instant case, the NBA has been unequivocal in its condemnation of this dastardly act. We have also called an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Association at which immediate next steps were prescribed and adopted. 

In his tribute, Akpata described  late Justice Oseji as an epitome of integrity and a jurist of unquestionable repute and added that  the best way to honour him will be to keep the sanctity of the courts.

He sold the guest at the valedictory mostly senior lawyers that the late Justice Oseji,  “would not forgive us if all we do today is to celebrate his life whilst we turn a blind eye on the actions of these agents of government who are obviously intent on desecrating and denigrating this Honourable Court and indeed the entire Nigerian judiciary”

Earlier, in his  address at the valedictory Court session, the Chief Justice of Nigeria ( CJN), Hon Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has described the late Justice Oseji as a dedicated and passionate judicial officer whose judgements were not only fact-based but very analytical and inclusive.

Justice Muhammad said the excellent performance of late Justice Oseji on the Bench had ignited a spark of admiration in many levels of courts in the country. 

“He had, in no small way, displayed high proficiency in the seamless dispensation of justice, which evidently reclined on his mastery of law and impressive scholarship”, he said and added that the late justice had lived a life that now lives in the hearts of many across the globe.

Also at the special court session,  was the body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria who described  late justice Oseji as a man whose judicial pronouncements would forever have a  foothold on logic.
Professor Awa Kalu (SAN), who spoke on behalf of the senior lawyers, said the late justice was a man committed to ensuring that  justice were appropriately served in the course of duty.