Prof Ernest Ojukwu, SAN

* Ask the Bar to investigate these allegations of police harassment of lawyers across the country

Prof Ernest Ojukwu SAN, has sent a letter to NBA President AB Mahmoud, SAN seeking the urgent intervention of the Bar to stem the tide of police harassment of lawyers. Ojukwu described the trend as “ugly development as it is a direct assault and heralds a systematic destruction of the integrity and independence of the Bar; and the rule of law, respect for enforcement of fundamental rights, human rights/people’s rightstwo major objectives the Bar has sworn to promote and protect.”

A copy of Teacher’s letter sighted by TheNigeriaLawyer reads as follows:

“I write to bring to your attention the spate of police harassment of lawyers across the Country especially in cases where the lawyers were simply carrying out their professional work and discharging their professional responsibility to their clients.

The trend at harassing, molesting, detaining and sometimes brutalising our lawyers by the police is now a growing trend. The latest according to TheNigeriaLawyer concerns the arrest and detention of one Mr. Olufemi Adegbeso said to be a Lagos-based lawyer who was bundled out of his office in Rambo-style in the Agege area of Lagos State, detained and tortured for two days, by officers of the Nigerian Police who claimed to be acting on the orders of the Inspector-General of Police for writing a letter on his client’s behalf.

There is an urgent need to deal decisively with this ugly development as it is a direct assault and heralds a systematic destruction of the integrity and independence of the Bar; and the rule of law, respect for enforcement of fundamental rights, human rights/people’s rightstwo major objectives the Bar has sworn to promote and protect.

I suggest that the Bar investigate these allegations of police harassment of lawyers across the country with a view at taking up the factual cases and the development with the IGP and also taking every necessary step to change this narrative and protect the independence of the legal profession, access to justice, and rule of law.”

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