The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has vowed to resist any further attempt by any arm of government to intimidate the judicial arm.
The body spoke following the investigation of the invasion of Justice Mary Odili’s house, stressing that it was impunity on the part of any arm of government to want to intimidate another arm of government.
Monday Ubani, the lead special investigator and chairman NBA-Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL), who spoke on Arise Television on Monday, stated that the National Executive Council of the NBA, in an emergence meeting, reached several decisions, one of which was that the NBA should ascertain the true story of the invasion and who instigated and authorized the raid.
Ubani said: “It is the reason we constituted a one-man investigative committee to look into the matter and present a report to the NBA. That announcement was made on the 5th of November by the President of the NBA, Mr. Olumide Apata. We are working on getting the accurate information of what actually transpired.”
He added: “The police have made arrests of some of the culprits, 14 of them are in their custody. According to the police seven of them are still at large. The NBA wants all those who perpetrated the crime to be punished and there shouldn’t be a repeat. Recall that in 2016 there were such incidents where some of the Justices’ homes were invaded by the Department of Security Services (DSS) and up till now, no punishment was made. We were told it was an issue of mistaken identity. We don t want that kind of mistake to continue especially when it concerns an important arm of the government.
“We shouldn’t allow the judiciary to be intimidated. We don’t want the judiciary to be kept under perpetual fear in the discharge of their functions. The judiciary is a major stakeholder in the administration of justice in Nigeria. The requirement of the NBA as conveyed by Olumide Apata is that the president should set up an independent panel of enquiry to look into the matter and give an accurate account of what transpired, make recommendation as to those who are culpable, and punishment meted out to them, that is the minimum requirement,” he said.