The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned the United Nations over what it describes as a vicious assault on Justice Mary Odili.
SERAP specifically urged Mr. Diego García-Sayán, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, to “put pressure on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to conduct a credible, thorough, impartial, independent, transparent, and effective investigation into the vicious assault on Supreme Court Justice Mary Odili by rogue officials.”
SERAP also urged him to “ask the Nigerian government to ensure that any investigation into the assault is based on human rights principles and protected from undue influence. The outcome of the investigation must be made public, and the suspected perpetrators and their sponsors brought to justice.”
SERAP’s petition followed the recent invasion of Justice Odili’s Maitama, Abuja residence by armed personnel.
In the petition dated 13 November 2021, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “The intimidation and harassment of Justice Odidi is a flagrant assault on judicial independence, and apparently aimed at further weakening judicial independence and the rule of law in Nigeria.”
SERAP said: “The unconscionable attacks against Nigerian judges would seem to be a deliberate attempt by the authorities to exert pressure on the judiciary and undermine its independence and authority. These attacks are putting Nigerians’ freedoms at risk.”
According to SERAP, “The current investigation by the Nigerian police fails to meet international standards, as it is neither independent nor effective. As such, the investigation is incapable of identifying all the suspected perpetrators and their sponsors, and credibly delivering justice in the matter.”