The Nigerian Bar Association, Kaduna Branch upon discovering how a young lawyer was manhandled and maltreated by the Nigeria Police Force decided to seek justice on behalf of the legal profession. On the 5th of October, 2015 a letter of complaint was written to the office of the commissioner of police, Kaduna Division stating the demands of the branch amongst which is a public apology to the lawyer involved in two national dailies, receipt of the said complaint was acknowledged same day. On the 15th of October, 2015 ten {10} days after the letter of complaint was delivered and a response yet to be received from the Nigeria Police Force, the branch executives held a press conference at the High Court premises with a large turnout of members of the branch {especially young lawyers} in attendance restating the branch’s demands to the NPF. Thereafter, all in attendance marched in solidarity to the Police Force Headquarters to seek audience with the Commissioner of Police. Placards with inscriptions such as, “Rule of Law not Rule of Force”, “No to Police brutality”, “Justice for Richard”, “No to impunity” et al were carried by lawyers to show our displeasure at such inhuman and degrading treatment. Luckily the C.O.P was on his way out when members in attendance approached the gate, he was surprised to see such large number of lawyers at his door step and inquired what was going on. It was there and then that the incident came to his knowledge, he was equally surprised at such barbaric acts being done to a legal practitioner by a police officer and invited all members of NBA Kaduna Branch to the Force conference room to fully discuss the matter. The young lawyer involved was asked to narrate his side of the story in the presence of the C.O.P, the Divisional Police Officer of the station where it happened and the police officer who carried out the act. In his defence, the police officer said the lawyer slapped him at the police station, which the C.O.P said cannot be true “no sane man would go to a police station and slap a police officer”. Thereafter the provost of the Force headquarters was directed to take the Police officer and lock him up for the time the young lawyer spent in police custody. A meeting between the branch executives and the NPF to further discuss the issue was scheduled. Lawyers in attendance used the opportunity to narrate one or two scenarios were police officers either frustrate bail applications at the police station because a lawyer was involved or how antagonistic some police officers get when they find out a lawyer has been involved in the case he is investigating. So it was decided that there is need for synergy between the Nigeria Police Force and Nigerian Bar Association, as one cannot function effectively without the other. The C.O.P also assured members that a signal would be sent to all police stations in the division that once a lawyer visits a police station on the issue of bail for a client in detention, he should be taken to see the Divisional Police Officer of the station. The Nigeria Police Force, a fundamental institution in the protection of life and property of Nigerian citizens ought to perform its functions in appreciation of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria {as amended} which provides for fundamental rights, among which is right to dignity of human person and right to personal liberty. We must all put hands on deck to ensure mother Nigeria has a better future for her inhabitants. Do send your comment{s}, observation{s} and recommendation{s} to [email protected] ]]>

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