“It Is An Invitation To Anarchy And Chaos”- NBA President Condemns Unwarranted Arrest Of 3 Lawyers In PH, Rivers State
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Mr Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN has strongly condemned the arrest of three lawyers, Jerry Aondo, Esq, Dr Sobere Nelson, and Odum Eyiba, Esq, by the police in Rivers State.
The lawyers were said to be preparing petitions against the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the just concluded governorship election in Rivers State, when they were arrested. They were picked up on Friday night at a hotel they were lodging in Port Harcourt.
The reason for their arrest is still unknown.
In a statement made available to The Metro Lawyer (TML) and dated 1 April 2023, Maikyau said he reached out to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Commissioner of Police (CP) Rivers State, and has been assured of the release of the lawyers.
Read the full statement of the NBA President below…
I read the rather unfortunate and disturbing news of the arrest of three (3) of our colleagues, Jerry Aondo, Esq, Dr Sobere Nelson, and Odum Eyiba, Esq, in Rivers State. It was reported that the trio, who all practice in Mr Tuduru Ede, SAN’s law firm in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, were working on a petition for the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the declaration by INEC in the just concluded gubernatorial election in the state and were arrested while preparing the petition in a Hotel where they secured rooms and lodged for the purpose of the assignment. I have spoken with Mr Tuduru Ede, SAN and he confirmed the incident.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) strongly condemns such unwarranted harassment of lawyers in the lawful performance of their professional duties to their clients. Situations where the instrumentality of the police is apparently being used to harass and intimidate lawyers, is a direct affront to the rule of law and a threat to our democracy; it is an invitation to anarchy and chaos, as people would rather resort to self-help than approach the civil and constitutional means provided for the resolution of disputes.
I reached out to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Commissioner of Police (CP) Rivers State, and I have been assured of the release of our colleagues.
We shall also take up the matter to ensure that any person(s) including police officers, who may be found complicit in the events leading to the arrest of our colleagues, is sanctioned for any possible abuse of office.
I will continue to talk with Mr Tuduru SAN and shall keep you posted on further developments in this matter.
Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN