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Bawa Says EFCC Not Responsible as Security Agents Search Justice Odili’s House in Abuja

Security operatives on Friday laid siege for more than four hours to the Maitama, Abuja, residence of a Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Mary Odili. The operatives had conducted

Security operatives on Friday laid siege for more than four hours to the Maitama, Abuja, residence of a Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Mary Odili.

The operatives had conducted a search allegedly in connection with unspecified illegal activities at Odili’s 9 Imo Street, Maitama residence.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State visited the Odilis after the security agents left the residence late Friday night after the search episode.

The Supreme Court justice is the wife of Dr. Peter Odili, former governor of Rivers, who is presently on the watch list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

EFCC, had, Friday night, denied conducting any operation in the home of Justice Odili following reports that raid was an EFCC operation.

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A statement issued by the Spokesman of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, denied the involvement of the commission in the execution any search warrant at the residence of Justice Odili.

“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to claims in a section of the media that operatives of the Commission today, October 29, 2021 stormed the Maitama, Abuja home of a Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Mary Odili, purportedly to execute a search.

“The commission by this statement wishes to inform the public that the report is false as it did not carry out any operation at the home of Justice Odili. If there was any such operation as claimed by the media, it was not carried out by the EFCC.

“The commission enjoins the public to discountenance the report”, Uwujaren said.

The Chairman of EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa was also on Arise News Friday night to deny insinuations that his men carried out the raid.

Bawa said: None of our operatives was there. We did not carry out any raid anywhere in Abuja. It is difficult for anybody to do that without us knowing before, during or after.

“It is not from EFCC. I think it’s just mischief makers trying to link these things to us against the good working relationship we have with the judiciary. We have a very good working relationship with the judiciary”, he said.

“In fact, I am happy to let Nigerians know that between January and May, we have recorded 1,343 convictions which is a record. They are our biggest partners”, he said.

He said Justice Odili was expected to make a formal complaint to clear the air on the matter.

“I believe that Hon Justice Mary Odili will make a formal complaint to the appropriate authorities, who will look at it and find out what actually happened at her residence”, he said.

THISDAY, however, gathered that the raid was part of the investigation of Odili by the Joint Panel on Recovery in the Federal Ministry of Justice headed by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

The panel comprises representatives of the EFCC, the Nigeria Police Force, and the Ministry of Justice.

It was further gathered that the probe was targeted at her Justice Odili’s husband, who was Governor of oil-rich Rivers State from 1999 to 2007.

The security operatives, who came with a search warrant, said they received information on “illegal activities” going on in the house.

A witness, Aliyu Umar, said in an affidavit dated October 13, 2021, that he had given the information to the EFCC.

“I have observed some illegal activities going on in those houses within Abuja are illegal and hereby report the said matter to the law enforcement agency.

“I hereby state that all information provided by me to the EFCC is true and correct to the best of my knowledge,” he said.

In a second affidavit deposed to by a senior police officer, CSP Lawrence Ajodo, the panel applied to a chief magistrate in Abuja seeking a search warrant for the house.

The Chief Magistrate, Emmanuel Iyanna, subsequently approved the search warrant on October 29, 2021.

Wike had arrived the residence with Abiye Sekibo, former minister of transportation; Raymond Dokpesi, founder of DAAR Communications; Austin Okpara, former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives; Okon Aniete and Lee Maeba, a former senator, among others.

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

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