Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, has condemned the attack on the residence of Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Thugs were reported to have attacked her home over the verdict of the apex court on the Bayelsa governorship election delivered by her.
Okechukwu in a statement on Thursday however insisted that judicial officers must be free to dispense justice without fear or favour, as he decried the continued dwindling of the nation’s democratic credentials and fortunes, describing the incident as a very ominous development for the nation’s democracy. “The nation’s judiciary has come under series of attack in recent years and this is dangerous for our democracy, for if the temple of justice be destroyed, what then shall the righteous do?
“Invading or protesting at the residence of a judge on account of a judgement delivered in discharge of his or her constitutional duty is completely untoward, out of order, and a deliberate inducement of fear, and presupposes a state of anomie.
“This is more worrisome given that such bad examples are easily normalised and gain a bandwagon effect in our polity. This has never happened in the nation’s history. It should never have happened; and it must never happen again.
“A situation where every party to a dispute or their supporters should vent their disagreement with court judgments by protesting at judges’ homes instead of seeking redresses in court is an only invitation to a full-blown anarchy, hence the Presidency should get the law enforcement agencies to halt the emerging trend”, the lawmaker stated.