At about 2.38 pm on Thursday, the 8th of November 2018, there was an attempt by some men in civilian clothes, who we later discovered were men of the Nigeria Police Force, Anti-Cultism Unit, Port Harcourt, to arrest a Lawyer within the premises of the Nigerian Bar Association, Port Harcourt Branch Secretariat. A scuffle broke out and in the process, some Lawyers, including the Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Port Harcourt Branch, Chidi B. Ekeh, Esq., who had attempted to broker peace, were injured by the Policemen.
The policemen had earlier attempted to arrest the lawyer within the State High Court premises and our Branch Vice Chairman pleaded with them to reach out to the NBA to ensure that the lawyer goes to their station peacefully. I, as Chairman, also pleaded with the policemen to allow me intervene and ensure that the lawyer goes peacefully to their office but all these pleas were rebuffed.
The Branch has always advocated for amicable ways of settling disputes especially where members of the Nigeria Police Force and Lawyers are concerned and we totally condemn the use of brute force as was witnessed yesterday by members of the Force.
We condemn without reservation, the unnecessary use of force against any of our members and in general any citizen of Nigeria.
The NBA has an efficient dispute resolution mechanism; and we enjoin the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to avail themselves of that mechanism to forestall unnecessary break down of law and order between members of the Force and Lawyers.
FOR: NBA PH BRANCH
Sylvester N. Adaka, Esq.