The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad has stated that harassment and embarrassment of judicial officers by any government agency would no longer be tolerated. The CJN made this known on Wednesday at the ceremony to mark the official commencement of the Supreme Court’s 2021/2022 legal year. He said, “On a very sad note, I must say, we were jolted with the embarrassing news of the invasion of the official residence of one of our brother Justices, Hon Justice Mary Peter Odili on Friday, October 29 by men suspected to be security operatives, acting on a search warrant.
“The said warrant was purportedly obtained from an Abuja Magistrate court under questionable circumstances. I must make it known to all and sundry that we have had enough dosage of such embarrassment and harassment of our judicial officers across the country and we can no longer take any of such shenanigans.”
Justice Muhammad said the judiciary’s silence on such issues should not be mistaken for weakness or stupidity.
According to him, “By the nature of our work, we are conservative but not conquered species and should not be pushed further than this by any individual, institution or agency of the government.
“With time, those taking judiciary as a mere weakling will soon realize that it is from the calmest seas we often experience the fiercest storms. The time to oppress, suppress, and intimidate judicial officers is gone.”
He stated that efforts were being made to ensure that search or arrest warrants can only be issued with the knowledge and approval of the Chief Judge of the affected state or federal high courts.
The CJN also elevated 72 legal practitioners to Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) during the ceremony on Wednesday.