Civil Society Groups Condemn Non-Prosecution of Dr Peter Odili and Demand Judicial Accountability


We are Nigerian citizens, tax payers and representatives of civil society who wish to see a better country for ourselves, our children and our communities. Today, we seek to address the historical and continued abuse of our judiciary and the desecration of our institutions as typified by the libel suit filed by Dr. Peter Odili, former governor of Rivers State, against the authors of Too Good to Die – The Myth of the Indispensible Man in Africa, Chidi Odinkalu and Ayisha Osori. The case, recently instituted in a court in Rivers State, is only the latest attempt by Dr. Odili to add to his growing number of trophy cases where the courts have been successfully used to thwart and subvert any chance that Nigerians can hold people like him accountable for their tenure in office.
In the case against Odinkalu & Osori, Dr. Odili claims that he has been libelled because the book states, amongst other things that his tenure of Governor was “marred by widespread evidence of corruption, mismanagement, organised political violence and electoral fraud.” This is an understated description of the Rivers State that Dr. Odili ruled. Should we be unable to say so because someone like Dr. Odili has found a way to purchase our judiciary to do his bidding?
We are outraged that through these manufactured judicial proceedings, Dr. Odili wants to force-feed to our posterity his own self-serving version of our recent history. It is a notorious fact that the Rivers State that Dr. Odili ruled was dominated by criminal gangs and militias, many of them with support from the Governor’s office. Often, competition between these gangs made life in Port Harcourt and many other parts of the state impossible. In a responsible clime, these facts will be the subject of judicial notice An attempt to controvert them will be laughed out of court with deserved ignominy.
The vision for Nigeria in the National Anti Corruption Strategy 2017-2021 is “[A] Nigeria free of corruption through preventive measures, law enforcement and the rule of law for human development.” Nothing could be further from the truth in practice. On paper and at first glance, Nigeria is serious about tackling the corrosive culture of impunity for corruption in every facet of our society.
In addition to our executive, legislative and judicial institutions naturally responsible for protecting and safeguarding the commonwealth, Nigeria has various agencies specifically tasked with checking corruption yet the will to meaningfully reduce the entitled looting of public wealth is completely lacking. Such a will would have made it impossible or at least a thing of shame that any court in Nigeria would consider granting to a former public officer a perpetual injunction restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from investigating, prosecuting or arresting him for anything done by him during his tenure as governor. This is what Dr. Odili got in 2007 and despite EFCC’s appeal against this order in EFCC V. AG RIVERS STATE & ORS, CA/PH/622/2008, filed in May 2008, as we speak, 10 years later, EFCC’s appeal has not been assigned despite the best efforts of anti-corruption advocates who have petitioned, without success, the President of the Court Appeal and the Chief Justice at the Supreme Court where his wife, Justice Mary Odili sits.

The corruption and violence that characterises Nigerian politics and governance is well documented. In its 2008 report Politics as War: The Human Rights Impact and Causes of Post-Election Violence in Rivers State, Nigeria Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported (p. 2) “Rivers’ wealth has not just been squandered; it has also been put to work sponsoring violence and insecurity on behalf of ruling party politicians. Prior to the 2003 elections, then-Governor Peter Odili and his political associates lavishly funded criminal gangs that helped rig the election into a landslide victory for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Those gangs used the money at their disposal to procure sophisticated weapons; some of them are now better armed than the police.” Two years before the HRW Report, Nuhu Ribadu, then Chair of EFCC used the EFCC’s“Interim Report on the Investigation of a Case of Alleged Conspiracy, Abuse of Office, Fraudulent Conversion of Public Funds, Foreign Exchange Malpractice, Stealing and Money Laundering” to persuade President Obasanjo on the eve of the PDP convention in October 2006 to change the vice presidential nominee – this change and the reasons why are captured in several books including Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s The Accidental Public Servant Olusegun Adeniyi’s book, Against the Run of Play and Professor Wale Adebanwi’s book, A Paradise of Maggots, among others.
What Odili is doing with this latest libel suit is to deny our country a memory in order to avoid political accountability. As citizens, we have a duty to stop him and his agents in the judicial system. This is what he has done consistently for over one decade with the court orders he has been granted and the refusal of the court administration to allow EFCC to appeal the order of 2008. This amounts to flogging a child and demanding that the child must not even whimper. This political muzzling of the right of Nigerians to hold public officers accountable for abuse of power and public trust is injustice of the highest order and frankly, it makes a complete mockery of any and all discussions about anti-corruption deterrence mechanisms.

We make the following demands:

  1. We demand all Nigerians of conscience, all anti corruption activists, all jurists, all lawyers and judges disgusted with how our judiciary – the last bastion for justice for the people – has been abused to thwart accountability, to call for the injunctions in favour of Dr Odili to be reversed.
  2. We call on our partners and anti-corruption crusaders across the continent and the globe to speak against this injustice and demand that the judiciary wake up to its responsibility and provide the platform legally available to EFCC to appeal the order which restricts it from prosecuting Dr Odili on the basis of its report from 2007.


Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)
Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre)
Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Partners for West Africa
Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)
Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP)
Zero-Corruption Coalition (ZCC)
Accountability Maternal New-born and Child Health in Nigeria (AMHiN)
Partners on Electoral Reform
State of the Union (SOTU)
African Centre for Media and Information Literacy
National Procurement Watch Platform
Say NO Campaign—Nigeria
Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education (CHRICED)
Social Action
International Press Centre
Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC)
Community Action For Popular Participation

20 thoughts on “Civil Society Groups Condemn Non-Prosecution of Dr Peter Odili and Demand Judicial Accountability

  • May 18, 2021 at 1:33 am

    244792 199732Aw, it was a genuinely good post. In concept I must put in writing similar to this furthermore – spending time and actual effort to manufacture a outstanding article but exactly what do I say I procrastinate alot and no means discover a approach to go carried out. 459239

  • May 19, 2021 at 1:21 am

    862947 910600Now we know who the ssebnile 1 is here. Great post! 970341

  • May 27, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right.
    This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time
    I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  • June 4, 2021 at 12:35 am

    432778 614463This internet web site is my aspiration, very excellent design and Perfect articles. 325286

  • June 4, 2021 at 8:21 am

    There is no permanent design.Our brand is looking at a small window curve.

  • August 6, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    942388 510768I like this web site so a lot, bookmarked . 807065

  • August 28, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Howdy would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with?

    I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time
    making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  • September 1, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking
    and checking back frequently!

  • September 3, 2021 at 7:04 am

    529088 119869Only a smiling visitant here to share the adore (:, btw fantastic design and style . 48835

  • September 4, 2021 at 10:36 am

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website.
    I really hope to see the same high-grade content by you later on as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now

  • September 10, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this site, because i wish for enjoyment,
    as this this site conations in fact fastidious funny stuff too.
    quest bars quest bars

  • September 11, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading extremely slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.
    cheap flights cheap flights

  • September 13, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    Admiring the hard work you put into your website and detailed information you offer.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while
    that isn’t the same outdated rehashed information. Wonderful read!
    I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google
    account. ps4 ps4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: