Buhari Petitioned To Sack Justice Peter-Odili For ‘Serving As Complainant, Prosecutor And Decide In Her Individual Case’



A lawyer and human rights’ activist, Timipa Jenkins Okponipere, has requested President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Supreme Court docket Choose, Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili more than allegations of judicial misconduct and abuse of privilege.

SaharaReporters gathered that Okponipere’s problems with the Odilis commenced sometime in December 2006 when he led his legislation agency, 1st Regulation Solicitors, to conduct a referendum on corruption and politically-inspired killings in Rivers Condition below the previous governor Peter Odili and Justice Mary Peter-Odili as Initial Woman of the state.

Following the widely acclaimed referendum, Odili shed the presidential key election of the Peoples Democratic Bash (PDP) held on December 12, 2006, at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

The previous governor also dropped out in the shadow race for the PDP Vice presidential ticket, as Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was declared the running mate to Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, the eventual winner of the presidential ticket.

Odili and his spouse, Justice Mary Peter-Odili reportedly observed Okponipere as the architect behind their decline of the PDP presidential and vice-presidential tickets, and instantly acquired him arrested and billed before Justice Biobele Georgewill of the Rivers Point out Large Courtroom on January 17, 2007.

The make any difference subsequently progressed from the Rivers Condition High Court to the Courtroom of Attraction (Port Harcourt Division) and ultimately, to the Supreme Court docket in 2010.

By that time, nevertheless, Justice Mary Peter-Odili was previously a Justice of the apex court docket, and she eventually sat on the Supreme Courtroom panel which heard and determined the go well with on February 8, 2013: a legal appeal in which her spouse was the Main Complainant and Prosecutor in opposition to Okponipere.

The attorney in a statement made available to SaharaReporters claimed various petitions he wrote to the Countrywide Judicial Council (NJC) versus the choose have been not acted on.

He urged the Nigerian Bar Association to stress Justice Peter-Odili to submit herself to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the NJC although the commission must redeem its image by standing up to its duty.

Okponipere identified as on President Buhari to rescue the condition as the decide “deserves absolutely nothing but dismissal from the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”

He explained, “Justice Mary Peter-Odili abused her placement as a Judge of the apex court in the place when she simultaneously grew to become the Complainant, the Prosecutor and the Decide in Prison Attraction No: SC 250/2010 (TIMIPA OKPONIPERE Vs. Condition) which arrived prior to the Supreme Court docket in 2013.

“This unprecedented judicial misconduct is able of looking at her becoming dismissed from the Supreme Court docket bench. In the above 60 yrs record of the present day Supreme Court of Nigeria, not a solitary Justice of the revered apex court docket in the region, aside from Justice Mary Peter-Odili, has been so dragged ahead of the NJC for these kinds of an unbefitting judicial perform.

“The authorized theory/maxim of NEMO JEDEX IN CAUSA SUA (one can not be a Choose in his have induce) is an elementary theory of Regulation. For a Supreme Court docket Decide of Mary Peter-Odili’s calibre, she rose by way of the ranks from the Magistracy to fall foul to these an elementary basic principle, points out her shallow know-how of Regulation but deep involvement in judicial corruption.

“On January 12, 2007 the Rivers Point out Govt submitted an 8 counts Information and facts/Charge identified as Charge NO: PHC/30CR/2007 (State Vs. TIMIPA OKPONIPERE) at a Rivers Point out Higher Courtroom sitting at Port Harcourt versus TIMIPA JENKINS OKPONIPERE, Port Harcourt law firm and human rights activist, on a prison complaint by the then Governor of the State, His Excellency, Sir (Dr) Peter Odili. Licensed correct copy of the 8 counts Information/Demand is hooked up herewith.

“All of the 8 counts of the Information and facts/Demand have been directly connected or related with the individual of Dr. Peter Odili and his failed 2007 presidential bid. So, under his view as Governor of Rivers Point out, vigorous prosecution of the make any difference commenced just before Justice Biobele Georgewill (now of the Courtroom of Charm). Dr. Peter Odili consequently turned the Complainant and the Prosecutor in the make a difference though Mr. Okponipere, becoming a Authorized Practitioner, defended himself in human being.

“By usually means of an Interlocutory Attractiveness, the subject progressed from the Rivers Condition High Court docket to the Courtroom of Charm (Port Harcourt division) and finally, to the Supreme Courtroom in Abuja as Prison Enchantment No: SC 250/2010 (TIMIPA OKPONIPERE Vs. State). At about the exact same period, Justice Mary Peter-Odili, wife to Dr. Peter Odili (the Complainant and Prosecutor), had also been newly elevated to the Supreme Courtroom bench.

“By virtue of her status as wife to Dr. Peter Odili (the Complainant and Prosecutor), Justice Mary Peter-Odili ought to have recused herself from listening to and offering Judgment in Criminal Charm No: SC 250/2010 (TIMIPA OKPONIPERE Vs. State) when the make any difference progressed to the Supreme Court.

“However, from all recognised canons of pure justice, equity and fantastic conscience, Justice Mary Peter-Odili shamelessly and brazenly sat on the 5-gentleman panel of Justices of the Supreme Courtroom of Nigeria which heard and sent Judgment in a Criminal Enchantment in which her husband, Dr. Peter Odili, was the Complainant and the Prosecutor. Routinely as a result, she simultaneously became the Complainant, the Prosecutor and the Choose, in her possess bring about. This was a obvious and manifest abuse of judicial privilege.

“Judgment was sent in the issue on February 8, 2013 with Justice Olukayode Ariwoola providing the Lead Judgment. Other members of the 5-person panel of Justices included Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad (the present Main Justice of Nigeria & Chairman, National Judicial Council) John Afolabi Fabiyi Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili (shipped Concurring Judgment) and Kumah Bayang Akaahs. Certified genuine copy of the Guide Judgment and Justice Mary Odili’s Concurring Judgment are connected herewith.

“In a petition on oath submitted at the Federal Substantial Court docket in Abuja on July 17, 2020 (above a calendar year back!) and submitted identical day to the office of the Main Justice of Nigeria & Chairman of the NJC, Mr. Okponipere urged the NJC to get disciplinary action from Justice Mary Peter-Odili for gross violation of Policies 8 and 12 of the Code of Carry out for Judicial Officers in Nigeria. Duplicate of Mr. Okponipere’s petition to the NJC is connected herewith.

“Rule 8.1 of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers in Nigeria states therefore: A Decide shall not permit the Judge’s family members, social or political interactions improperly to impact the Judge’s judicial conduct and judgment as a Judge.

“Rule 8.3 of the Code imposes a responsibility on Judicial Officers to steer clear of pursuing self-curiosity. It states: A Judge who takes gain of the judicial place of work for personal acquire by his or her relative or relation abuses power. A Choose need to prevent all action that suggests that his or her selections are influenced by self-desire or favoritism, given that this kind of abuse of electric power profoundly violates the public’s have confidence in in the judiciary.

“Rule 12 of the Code can make provision for “Disqualification”. Justice Mary Peter-Odili is significantly liable under this Rule. Between many others, Rule 12.1 states: A Judge must disqualify himself in a proceeding in which his impartiality may perhaps truly and fairly be questioned, like but not constrained to the occasions where by: (a) he has a personal bias or prejudice relating to a get together or own awareness of specifics in dispute (c) he is familiar with that he separately or as a Judicial Officer or his spouse or youngster has a economic or any other curiosity that could be substantially impacted by the consequence of the proceeding.

“In a letter with Reference No. NJC/F.1/SC.11/I/241 dated 24th August, 2020 the Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR Main Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council acknowledged receipt of Mr. Okponipere’s petition and confident him that action was remaining taken. Duplicate of the letter is connected herewith.

“However, extra than a 12 months after, no action has been taken in opposition to Justice Mary Peter-Odili. There seems to be a grand design by the NJC to sweep Mr. Okponipere’s authentic petition beneath the carpet. After Justice Mary Peter-Odili retires from the Supreme Court bench in Might, 2022 the petition shall by natural means become worthless.

“No dependable federal government would sit idly and watch its Supreme Courtroom being denigrated and ridiculed by the controversial steps of a person of the Justices of the very same Honourable Court. Accordingly, I simply call on President Muhammadu Buhari, Africa’s Champion of Anti-Corruption, to rescue the circumstance. Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili justifies very little but DISMISSAL from the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“The NBA need to be manufactured to connect with on Justice Mary Peter-Odili to submit herself to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the NJC. 30. The NJC must redeem its image by standing up to its duty. Agency and decisive disciplinary motion really should be taken versus Justice Mary Odili, devoid of delay. Last but not least, the media should really jettison all varieties of gullibility and display screen braveness and bravery in the total curiosity of preserving the integrity and dignity of the Judiciary in the place.”