On Wednesday, Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad, cautioned that the country’s court had already suffered enough embarrassment at the hands of security forces and that it would not take lightly a repeat of such behavior.
As a result, he stressed that the Judiciaries’ quietness should never be misinterpreted for incompetence or weakness.
Muhammad spoke his thoughts at the Supreme Court in Abuja during the 2021/2022 legal year and the conferment of the title of Senior Advocates of Nigeria on 72 legal practitioners.
Justice Muhammad said, “On a very sad note, I must say, we were jolted with the embarrassing news of the invasion of the official residence of one of our brother Justices, Hon Justice Mary Peter Odili on Friday October 29 by men suspected to be security operatives, acting on a search warrant.
“The said warrant was purportedly obtained from an Abuja Magistrate court under questionable circumstances.
“I must make it known to all and sundry that we have had enough dosage of such embarrassment and harassment 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 judiciary as a mere weakling will soon realize 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 consequences 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 is 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 or Federal High Court as the case may be.”