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Nigerian Bar Association - Port Harcourt Branch

 

 

STATEMENT BY NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION PORT HARCOURT BRANCH ON THE ATTEMPT BY THE DSS AND OR THE POLICE TO SEARCH THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCE OF, AND OR ARREST, A SERVING JUDGE OF THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT IN PORT HARCOURT

 

The Port Harcourt Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association condemns, in totality, the attempt by the DSS and or the Police to search the official residence of, and or arrest, a serving Judge of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt at about 1am on the 8th of October 2016, without recourse to due process.

From our findings, the Judge was not, at any time prior to the said attempt, invited by the DSS or the Police, either formally or informally, to answer any question or issue in relation to any ongoing investigation.

To have invaded the Judge's residence, therefore, for the purpose of conducting a search or effecting an arrest at such an ungodly hour of the day, apparently without any or good justification, is condemnable and inexcusable.

This militaristic action by the DSS and or the Police, in apparent and flagrant disregard of due process and the rule of law, portends danger for our society, in so far as it appears to be aimed at intimidating serving judicial officers. As such, it should be condemned and resisted, not just by the Bar, but by every well-meaning citizen of our great nation.

If our judges, the last hope of the common man and representatives of a parallel and co-equal arm of government, are allowed to be intimidated by security agencies into abdication of their sworn duty to check the excesses of the executive arm of government, then we are doomed as a people.

We cannot help but wonder, after the judges, who will be next?

We are not in the least suggesting that judges are above the law but we insist that if they are alleged to have broken the law, due process in accordance with the rule of law should be followed by the security agencies to ensure that justice is done, especially as a judge is, like every other citizen, presumed innocent until proven guilty.

We therefore urge all security agencies to respect the sanctity of the Judiciary and to always adhere strictly to the rule of law in the performance of their duties.

 

 

O. V. Frank-Briggs Gloria Anuri Ohia(Mrs.)

 

Chairman Publicity Secretary

 
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