December 09, (THEWILL) – The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, has said the judiciary will henceforth resist any attempt by any individual, institution or government agency to oppress, supress and intimidate any judicial officer in the country.
The CJN who made reference to the invasion of the official residence of Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court by some security operatives, warned that the judiciary’s silence should never be mistaken for stupidity or weakness.
He noted that judicial officers by the nature of their work are conservative, ”but not conquered species and should not be pushed further than this by any individual, institution or agency of the government.”
Justice Muhammad issued the warning Wednesday at the inauguration of 72 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria at the Supreme Court complex.
The CJN said henceforth, every search or arrest warrant on any judicial officer must be issued with the knowledge and approval of the Chief Judge of the respective state/federal High Court, as the case may be.
His words: “Still on a very sad note, I must say, we are jolted with embarrassing news of the invasion of the official residence of one of our brother Justices, Hon. Justice Mary Peter Odili, on Friday October 29, 2021, by men suspected to be security operatives, acting on a search warrant purportedly obtained from an Abuja Magistrate’s Court under questionable circumstances.
”I must make it known to all and sundry that we have had enough dosage of such embarrasments and harassments 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. By the nature of our work, we are conservative but not conquered species and should not be pushed further than this by any individual, institution or agency of the government.
“With time, those taking the judiciary as a mere weakling will soon realise that it is from the calmest seas we often experience the fiercest storms. The time to oppress, suppress and intimidate judicial officers is gone.
”No one, irrespective of his or her status or position in the country, should test our will because the consequence of such unwarranted provocation will be too dire to bear. 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 us 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. We are making efforts now to ensure that henceforth, every search or arrest warrant must be issued with the knowledge and approval of the chief judge of the respective State/Federal High Court.”