The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr. Diego Garca-Sayán, to put pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to conduct a credible, thorough, impartial, independent, transparent, and effective investigation into the alleged vicious assault on Supreme Court Justice Mary Odili by rogue officials.
SERAP also urged him in the petition, signed by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare on November 13, 2021, to ask the Nigerian government to ensure that the outcome of the investigation is made public and that the suspected perpetrators and their sponsors are brought to justice.
According to the organization, the intimidation and harassment of Justice Odili was a flagrant assault on judicial independence, and it appeared to be aimed at further undermining judicial independence and the rule of law in Nigeria.
“We urge you to press the Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution establishing an international, independent, and impartial investigative mechanism into the attack on Justice Odili, and other unresolved cases of intimidation and harassment of the judiciary, and assault on the rule of law in Nigeria since May 29, 2015,” the petition stated.
“An international investigation into cases of judge intimidation and harassment in Nigeria will meet the highest international standards and best practices, and will assist Nigerian authorities in taking steps to improve respect for the independence of the judiciary, the rule of law, and access to justice for victims of human rights violations.”
“The proposed visit would contribute to efforts to align Nigeria’s justice system with international standards and free of political interference.
” Nigerian authorities continue to fail to conduct thorough, impartial, independent, transparent, and effective investigations into cases of attacks, intimidation, and harassment of judges, the very people who protect and guarantee human rights.
While Nigerian authorities have apprehended some of the suspected perpetrators, at least ten more people who are said to have been involved in the assault on Justice Odili remain at large.”