Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has criticised the Federal Government over the events which culminated in the invasion of the Abuja residence of Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court by men believed to be security operatives.
According to Wike, these are subtle moves by the Federal government to browbeat the judiciary to its bidding ahead of the 2023 elections.
The Governor made this assertion on Thursday during a special court session to mark the opening of the 2021/2022 Legal Year of the Rivers State Judiciary in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the Federal Government wants to continue to ride roughshod unchecked over the rule of law and the sanctity of the country’s electoral system, hence, the renewed attack on judicial officers.
Wike said, “Although it is still early morning in our democratic match towards 2023, the attack on Justice Mary Odili is a prelude to many more and even worse political maneuverings we should be prepared to experience from the APC-led Federal Government, which having lost relevance and popular support is becoming more and more desperate over its dwindling political fortunes by the day.
“While cases with political undertones, including the constitutional validity of certain sections of the recent amendments to the 2010 Electoral Act, if assented to by Mr President, would necessarily come before our courts; what is important is the duty and capacity of our judiciary to save our democracy and the country.”
He also noted that the current administration has been quick to ridicule the entire institution and subject judges to trauma for its own self-interest.
“We all witnessed the infamous midnight raids on judicial residences and the subjection of some judges, to illegal raids, arrests, and detentions by agents of the Federal Government purportedly carrying out a baseless sting operation back in 2016.
“Since then the intimidation of judges whose judgments, intellectual or moral disposition they are not comfortable with has continued unrelenting with the latest attack on a peaceful mother, wife of a former Governor and Justice of the Supreme Court, our own highly revered Hon. Justice Mary Odili
“It is important to emphasize that we allow these intimidations to become acceptable standards of behaviour and even become complicit in their unholy design to undermine the administration of justice when we all opt to keep quite in the face of these assaults,” Governor Wike added.
He challenged the Federal Government to come clean with the names, identities, and affiliations of those allegedly arrested for their roles in the attack.
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