SaharaReporters gathered that Okponipere’s troubles with the Odilis began sometime in December 2006 when he led his law firm, First Law Solicitors, to conduct a referendum on corruption and politically-motivated killings in Rivers State under the former governor Peter Odili and Justice Mary Peter-Odili as First Lady of the state
The former governor also lost out in the shadow race for the PDP Vice presidential ticket, as Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was declared the running mate to Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, the eventual winner of the presidential ticket.
Odili and his spouse, Justice Mary Peter-Odili reportedly saw Okponipere as the architect behind their loss of the PDP presidential and vice-presidential tickets, and promptly got him arrested and charged before Justice Biobele Georgewill of the Rivers State High Court on January 17, 2007.
The matter subsequently progressed from the Rivers State High Court to the Court of Appeal (Port Harcourt Division) and eventually, to the Supreme Court in 2010.
By that time, however, Justice Mary Peter-Odili was already a Justice of the apex court, and she eventually sat on the Supreme Court panel which heard and determined the suit on February 8, 2013: a criminal appeal in which her spouse was the Chief Complainant and Prosecutor against Okponipere.
The lawyer in a statement made available to SaharaReporters said several petitions he wrote to the National Judicial Council (NJC) against the judge were not acted on.