November 27, 2021

Beyond Senate’s indictments over Odili home invasion

Agenda for 36 governors meeting tomorrow

THE Senate’s indictment of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over invasion of the Abuja home of Supreme Court Justice, Mary Odili, is a sign that all hope is not lost on the Ahmed Lawan-led upper chamber of the National Assembly.

The indictment was based on the perception that those who stormed the home of the Odilis at night on October 29, 2021 with a suspiciously-procured search warrant, were sent by highly- placed persons.

Though they were believed to be members of a joint security task force from the Federal Ministry of Justice, AGF Malami denied knowledge of the raid. So did the Police IGP, Usman Baba Alkali and the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa.

The mystery deepened when on November 11, 2021, the Nigeria Police Force paraded 14 suspects. From their motley backgrounds, they could not possibly be state actors unless something more sinister is going on.

They included a fake whistle-blower, an unauthorised journalist, an Islamic “prayer warrior”, a fake Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, and a “recovery expert” who claimed to be working for AGF Malami (which the latter again denied).

The stories that each of these suspects told while being paraded could not stand up to rhyme or reason. The fact that such unscrupulous individuals successfully obtained a flawed search warrant from a magistrate and deliberately assaulted a residence other than the one on their warrant makes a thorough investigation of this group a matter of urgent public importance.

The heat is on the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and heads of select security organisations.

To preserve the sanctity of their exalted offices and their reputation, a thorough independent security profiling of this group must be done to ascertain who they were working for.

Even if they are not working for anyone in the Buhari regime, it will still be alarming to note that criminal syndicates can just obtain court warrants and gain access to the homes and offices of the high and mighty in Abuja and other parts of the country.

It means that no one is safe, because this may not be the only group on the prowl. It also means that criminals are now mimicking the security agencies in night-time assaults on judges and other persons of high office.

We call on the Senate to go beyond its preliminary indictment of heads of security agencies and ensure that those who sponsored this group and their motives are exposed and punished. Otherwise, this scandalous case could die the moment public attention shifts.

It will exacerbate the atmosphere of fear and insecurity.