The Hon. Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) has issued a strong warning that the judiciary would begin to rise up against what he described as, “clandestine attempt” to silent it in the discharge of its lawful judicial functions.
He spoke Wednesday, against the recent raid on the residence of the second most senior Justice of the Supreme Court, Mary Peter-Odili, by alleged security operatives.
He said the judiciary would begin to assert itself so as to become the pride of the nation, stating that the judiciary has had enough of embarrassment of its judicial officers and would no longer take it kindly in the event of any repeat of the ugly treatment to judges from security operatives.
He spoke in Abuja, during the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on 72 lawyers as well as the commencement of the 2021/2022 legal year of the Supreme Court.
According to Muhammad, the silence of the judiciary should never be mistaken for stupidity or weakness.
“On a very sad note, I must say, we were jolted with embarrassingly news of the invasion of the official residence of one of our brother Justices, Hon Justice Mary Peter Odili on Friday October 29 by men suspected to be security operatives, acting on a search warrant.
“The said warrant was purportedly obtained from an Abuja Magistrate court under questionable circumstances.
“I must make it known to all and sundry that we have had enough dosage of such embarrassment and harassment of our judicial officers across the country and we can no longer take any of such shenanigans.
“The silence of the judiciary should never be mistaken for stupidity or weakness”, he said.
“We shall begin to resist any clandestine attempt to silence or ridicule us to oblivion. Nigeria, to the best of my knowledge is not a lawless society. We should begin to do things that will project is favourably and rightly too, to the international community.
“No law permits anyone to invade, subdue or overawe any Nigerian citizen in his or her residence with a flimsy, fraudulently obtained search warrant,” he added.
The CJN noted that by the nature of their work, judicial officers are conservative but not conquered species and should not be pushed further.”