Rivers Govt, group condemns attack on Justice Odili’s family

From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt

The Rivers State Government has condemned the attack on Justice Mary Odili’s family house in Abuja, by some aggrieved youths protesting against the Supreme Court ruling on Bayelsa Governorship election.

This as a group, Vanguard for Defence of Justice and Good Governance, VDJGG, has described the action as barbaric and call for the arrest of the suspects.

It would be recalled that Justice Mary Odili, wife of the former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, headed the 5-man justices that ruled on the case of the Bayelsa state APC governorship-elect and his deputy in the judgment of February 13.

However, the Rivers State Executive Council had during its meeting held on Wednesday, in Government House, Port Harcourt reviewed the recent attacks on the residence of the Former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili as a result of the Supreme Court judgment that nullified the election of David Lyon as Governor of Bayelsa State and resolved as follows:

In a statement signed by Paulinus Nsirim, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, at the end of the meeting, wondered why the family house of the former state Governor should be attack, stressing that the judgement that nullified the election victory of the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, David Lyon was unanimous decision of the panel.

The statement also accused the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, of being behind the attack.

The State Executive Council also stated the state government moves to legally protect Odili’s family and every indigenes of Rivers State serving the federal government.

“The Rivers State Executive Council observed that the Federal Government seems not to show interest in the sponsored threats to the lives of Dr Peter Odili and members of his family.

“That the Rivers State Executive Council condemns the barricading of the residence of Dr Peter Odili at Maitama, Abuja by sponsored thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) .

“That the Rivers State Executive Council wondered why Dr Peter Odili’s family should be singled out for the unwarranted attack, when the judgment that ousted David Lyon as Governor of Bayelsa State was a unanimous decision of a five-member panel of Supreme Court Justices.

“That the Rivers State Executive Council warns the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva and the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole and their hired agents to desist from the sponsorship of violent attacks against Dr Peter Odili and members of his family.

“That the Rivers State Government will hold Timipre Sylva and Adams Oshiomhole responsible if anything happens to Dr Peter Odili and members of his family.

“That the Rivers State Executive Council noted that in the past Rivers State suffered unfavourable Judicial Pronouncements and never resorted to self help as being promoted by APC Leaders in the case of Bayelsa State.

“That the Rivers State Government will employ all legal means to protect Dr Peter Odili and members of his family. That the Rivers State Government will protect Rivers State Indigenes who are serving Federal and State Judicial officers”.

Also in a statement signed by Dr. Braid Jasper, President, and Sir Jumbo Ashaka, Secretary of Vanguard for Defence of Justice and Good Governance, call for the arrest of everybody linking to the attack, including those that made inciting statements that resulted to the action.

“Our findings show that the irate APC youths who attacked Mary Odili’s Abuja home, claimed that the judgment was influenced by the fact that Justice Mary’s husband, Dr. Peter Odili, former Governor of Rivers state and one time Presidential aspirant on the platform of the PDP, was the principled reason why the judgment went against the APC.

“Nothing could be more misplaced than this misconception. It will be recalled that Dr. Peter Odili was still in PDP when his dear wife, Justice Mary Odili wrote and read the lead judgments that upturned the election petitions of Lagos, Kaduna, Nassarawa and Katsina states which were all won by the APC.

“Our question is: where were these irredentist attackers when all of the above judgments happened under Justice Mary Odili’s watch! It is very unfortunate that a certain stalwart of the ruling APC had stocked the pile of crisis when he said nobody would be sworn in as governor of Bayelsa state despite the Supreme Court ruling. Hours later, a heinous attack was unleashed on government institutions by miscreants.

“Few days later, this same APC leader made an unsubstantiated and unfounded claim that Justices were paid billions of naira to upturn justice against the APC in the February 13 judgment. In a sane clime, this APC leader, irrespective of his public standing should have been arrested to divulge the source/s of such humongous allegations which, with all intents and purposes, ignited the attacks on Justice Mary Odili.

“We demand that the security agencies should, as a matter of national importance, arrest and prosecute anybody who made inciting statements that led to the attack on Justice Mary Odili and all those involved in such attacks.

“We call on President Mohammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the leadership of the National Assembly as well as the security agencies to rise up against any act that is capable of intimidating and injecting fears into the judicial system thereby causing misplacement of justice at any giving time”.

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