Timipa Jenkins Okponipere, the founder and senior partner of First Law Solicitors, has called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to probe the a judge and wife of a former governor of Rivers State, Honourable Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili, over allegations of judicial misconduct and abuse of privilege.
Okponipere made this known on Friday at a virtual press conference, noting that the judge, though highly-placed, “is certainly not above the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
Okponipere accused the NJC of protecting Justice Mary Peter-Odili from sanctions despite constant reminders on his petition against her since July 2020.
“It is now nine months since I submitted my petition. The NJC are yet to determine it,” he said.
“Indeed, I have written several letters of reminder to the NJC; appealing for a just and speedy determination of my petition. After nine months of waiting patiently, I am no longer in doubt that the NJC are deliberately and willfully shielding His Lordship, The Honourable Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili, JSC from judicial scrutiny and discipline.
“This is most unfortunate, unlawful and provocative. It is the clearest confirmation of the existence of monumental judicial corruption at the highest hierarchy of the Nigerian judicial system.”
“I am therefore seizing this unique opportunity to call on the NJC to speedily consider and determine the petition in respect of His Lordship, The Honourable Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili, JSC.”
Similarly, the lawyer asked the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) to address a petition he wrote against three senior advocates of Nigeria: Messrs. JB Daudu, EC Ukala and Lawal-Rabana since last August.
“I am therefore, once again, seizing this unique opportunity to appeal to the LPPC to speedily and decisively determine my petition against the erring legal practitioners in the overall interest of Justice and the Rule of Law,” Okponipere ended.
Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili, who is currently the fourth most senior of the 20 justices, is likely to become the second-in-command to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, following the retirement of Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour on March 22, 2021.
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