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Malami Denies as Chief Magistrate Fingers Attorney-General in Raid on Justice Odili’s Home

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Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Saturday, denied any involvement in the reported invasion of the residence of a Justice of the Supreme Court, Mary Odili, by security operatives.

He also ordered a probe into the circumstances surrounding the raid of the home of Justice Odili.

A statement by his Special Assistant, Media and Public Relations to the Minister, Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, said the clarification became imperative in view of “the media hype and the dimension” the story had taken.

He said: “It is important to set the record straight that as the Chief Law Officer of the federation, Malami will not stoop too low to be associated with an apparent inelegant and nasty court process on the strength of which the purported search warrant was procured.

“The media reports on the issue depict too untidy process that could never emanate from the Office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

According to the minister, the public needed to know that there was nothing called Joint Panel Recovery Under the Ministry of Justice in the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and by extension the entire Federal Ministry of Justice.

The statement stated further what the ministry had was the Inter-ministerial Committee on Assets Recovery and its mandate did not include sting operations.

“The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has since reached out to the relevant authorities for an intensified wider investigation on the matter for necessary actions leading to the prosecution of anyone involved in the matter in view of the fact that the only names on record from the process filed in Court are a purported police officer who claimed to be “O/C Assets Recovery Team” and one Aliyu Umar a deponent in the affidavit.

“The claim of the Chief Magistrate as reported by a section of the media to the effect that he was being misled by office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice into the issuance of the search warrant is equally forwarded to the relevant investigation agencies to ascertain veracity or otherwise of the purported association of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and which officer if any in the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is associated with such claimed misrepresentation,” the statement added.

Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Iyanna of Wuse Zone 6 magisterial division, Abuja had earlier admitted that he was led into signing a search warrant for the residence of a top Supreme Court jurist by Malami.

Mr Iyanna consequently revoked the search warrant he approved against Justice Odili’s residence due to misrepresentation in the first information application supplied by an ad-hoc public asset recovery panel domiciled under the justice ministry and overseen by Mr Malami.

“Upon misrepresentation to this honourable court that led to the issuance of a search warrant in favour of Joint Panel Recovery, Ministry of Justice, against House 9, Imo Street, Maitama, Abuja, dated October 29, 2021 (and) in view of the above fact, the said search warrant is hereby revoked,” the senior magistrate said in a fresh order

Mr Iyanna’s October 29 order came hours after Peoples Gazette reported that armed operatives have tried to breach the residence of Mrs Odili on Imo Rivers Street in Maitama.

Officers had arrived at the residence bearing a warrant that was issued based on whistleblower information from Aliyu Umar, an Abuja residence.

Mr Umar had deposed on October 13 that there were illegal activities going on at 9, Imo Street, Maitama, that should warrant immediate action from the law enforcement.

The whistleblower also said in court filings that the tip-off was supplied to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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