Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, has described as unwarranted and cowardly the attack on Justice Mary Odili for her judgment on Bayelsa State governorship election.
Justice Odili had chaired the panel of the Supreme Court that sacked David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress as Bayelsa State governor-elect on the grounds that Biobarakuma Degi-Eriemienyo, his running mate, presented forged credentials to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Since the judgment, which the APC through its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had rejected, Bayelsa State has experienced violence prompting the police to declare dusk to dawn curfew.
Also, some ‘sponsored’ protesters had besieged the home of the judge condemning her role in the delivery of the judgment.
In his reaction, Ozekhome berated the attacks on Odili saying that the attack was “highly condemnable, provocative, uncalled for and is certainly dangerous for the independence and courageous decisions template of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, which is the apex court.”
He lamented that Odili was singled out and attacked by hired political hoodlums, miscreants and thugs, noting that Odili did not even write or deliver the lead judgment.
He said, “The lead judgment was written and delivered by the Justice Ejembi Eko, JSC.
“More significant is the fact that the entire judgment was a unanimous decision and pronouncement made by the entire five members of the Supreme Court panel that heard the matter.
“Why would she be singled out just because she is from Rivers State, near Bayelsa State?” Ozekhome said.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria stated that the attack on Odili was not an ordinary one as it should not be ignored and swept under the carpet.
He urged the police and authorities to investigate the attack and bring anyone found culpable to book.
He said, “The government, through the DSS, the Inspector-General of Police must immediately rise to the occasion and fish out the ignoble perpetrators that committed this heinous crime and this desecration of the citadel of Justice.
“They must be singled out and prosecuted immediately; and where found guilty, be given adequate punishment that they richly deserve.
“No attempt must be made by any political party, or by any person or group of persons, however so highly placed, to intimidate the judiciary and beat it to submission in such a way and manner that decisions of courts are procured by the executive or political fiat.”