Justice Odili’s ordeal shows how blasé we are

WE are not anywhere close to resolving whatever happened at the home of Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court more than three weeks ago. The findings so far confirm what had been speculated for too long – nobody is above the consequences of our improperly managed space.

There are reasons to be concerned on several points. The speed with which the investigations are crawling through the security agencies do not match the outrage that followed the attack. The invasion had thrown up many speculations, among them that Odili could be running illegal money operations from her official quarters. That answer has been ticked wrong.

Another version was that there could have been a scandal around her work as a Justice of the Supreme Court and the authorities wanted hard evidence to make their case. An invasion was their option. Raid at the home of judges in the early life of the Buhari administration cannot be forgotten hurriedly. Again, the speculation missed the mark.

What could it be? Then we remembered that her husband, Dr. Peter Odili, former Governor of Rivers State could be the problem. He has a case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC that remains lukewarm. Odili, the politician, had obtained a court perpetually restraining EFCC, from investigating him.

The court order was clearly unprecedented. The bigger shocker was that EFCC did not appeal it. So, 14 years after he left the office around which the allegations were weaved, EFCC has still not appealed the injunction.

Weeks ago EFFC bared its fangs when it denied Dr. Odili a trip abroad. It was not known on which legal stand EFCC made its decision. Was it a new case? We do not know. Dr. Odili was therefore, in the frame as the possible source of the invasion that was condemned across political lines.

He was also ruled off as the reason for the invasion. Who then invaded the home of the Odilis? What did they want? Why was it so easy to launch the raid? Do Justices of the Supreme Court not qualify for security that should keep such nuisance at bar?

There was even a veneer of legality to the raid. The attackers came with a court paper which was obtained with false information. The leader of the raid was a fake police officer.

Read also: A resilient Port Harcourt boy

Results of the investigation read like fantasy. How many unlikely fellows and circumstances worked together to achieve the attack? The allegation that they were raiding the home for funds that were warehoused there is being parroted as if keeping funds at home is a crime. How much could have been involved in the alleged heist that went wrong? Has crime been professionalised to the extent that a fake police officer, who freely calls himself a consultant to the Attorney General of the Federation, can assemble soldiers, policemen, lawyers, and a journalist, among other professionals for a robbery? The Office of the Attorney General denies any involvement with the said consultant.

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Thursday, said he had no dealings with the suspect.

Malami asked the suspect to produce evidence of contractual agreement between them, the terms of references for the alleged consultancy service and when he was engaged.

Why did the suspect attack the sterling credentials of Malami? Who are his sponsors and do these affect Justice Odili?

The stories of the suspects and the expertise that went into this investigation would be in the headlines for some time though something more bizarre could knock them off before you finish reading this piece.

Who is satisfied with the handling of this emerging crime? There are some things that do not add up. Is this what the Federal Republic of Nigeria would have told the world if Justice Odili had come to any harm?


ANOTHER shocking story is the death of Tordue Henry Salem, Vanguard’s House of Representatives Correspondent, who had been reported missing since 13 October 2021. We hoped he would be found alive. The police said he was killed by a hit and run driver in an accident? Suspects have been arrested. This sounds like the end of the investigation, but like the Odili story there are reasons to wonder why it took 29 days to know that he was dead in Abuja which one expects to have the facilities to uncover the darkness over Salem’s whereabouts. May the Almighty grant him rest.

PRESIDENT Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari had planned to dredge the Calabar Port and link it by rail to serve the North East flank of Nigeria, and some Cameroonian border settlements. The 1983 coup stopped that project, as well as the ring road that was planned from Tin Can Island Port, through Okokomaiko, to an expressway that would have run straight from Badagry to Sokoto. Work was in progress on that project, it also died with the 1983 coup. As early as 1980, there had been plans to link Asaba by rail to Lagos. More than 40 years after these projects were announced, we are building rails that do not have the economic logic that would sustain their operations.

THE governorship election in Anambra State is being celebrated for its transparency and the event going through without all the fears about absolute breakdown of law and order. There are suggestions that the Anambra model – whatever it is – should be the template for future elections. Do the experts understand what happened in Anambra? The election defied most predictions. Congratulations, Professor Charles Soludo who comes into office by March 2022.

.Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues