Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Iyanna of Wuse Zone 6 magisterial division in Abuja who signed the search warrant used by security agencies to lay siege on the residence of Justice Mary Odili has admitted that he was deceived into signing it.
Iyanna said that the Federal Ministry of Justice under Attorney-General Abubakar Malami lied due to misrepresentation in the first information application supplied by an ad-hoc public asset recovery panel domiciled under the ministry and subsequently revoked the warrant.
The senior magistrate said in a fresh order, “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,
“In view of the above fact, the said search warrant is hereby revoked.”
It can be recalled that the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and some sister security agencies had on Friday evening, stormed Justice Odili’s home situated at Imo River Street, off Danube Street, Maitama, with about 50 security operatives and made attempt to break-in.
Officers had arrived at the residence bearing a search warrant that was issued based on whistleblower information from Aliyu Umar, an Abuja residence.
Umar who was reportedly deposed on October 13 said that there were illegal activities going on at 9, Imo Street, Maitama, that should warrant immediate action from the law enforcement.
However, the wife of the former Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili, who is currently on the watchlist of the EFCC, resisted their attempts to raid her residence, telling the operatives that she had no business with them.
Justice Odili also argued that the warrant was not meant for her residence since she lives at 7, Imo River Street, Maitama, and not 9, Imo Street, Maitama, as stated in the warrant.
Human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome faulted the warrant, describing it as one with “fundamental flaws”.
“It is a fundamental flaw. A search warrant must have the name of the person that you want to carry out a search on his or her house,” he said.
“Also, if they were looking for Imo street, they should look for Imo street elsewhere. There is an Imo close nearby. There is another Imo close somewhere in Garki, but this place is number 7, Imo River street.”
The development has drawn harsh criticisms of AGF Malami, whose controversial role in alleged anti-democratic moves of the administration contributed to his new status as a formidable force in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet.