Abuja NBA blasts IGP, Femi Gbajabiamila, Demands Immediate Release of Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere
The Nigerian Bar Association, Bwari branch (Capital Bar) has condemned in strong terms the continued detention of Mr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere in spite of Court Orders barring the Police from doing so.
In a statement signed by the Chairman of the Branch, Clement Chukwuemeka Esq. and made available to BarristerNG, the branch threatened to embark on mass protest if their request is not granted.
Read the full message Below
IMPUNITY AT LOUIS EDET HOUSE
The attention of the NBA Bwari Branch (Capital Bar) has been drawn to the continued and illegal detention of the Spokesperson of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), Mr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, who was on Thursday evening (18th June, 2020) arrested by the Police allegedly at the instigation and prompting of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila over allegations by Mr. Ikenga Imo that lawmakers in the House of Representatives were offered $10 million for the speedy passage of the Vaccination Bill by the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates.
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This arrest is coming on the heels of a valid and subsisting Court order (in Suit No: FCT/HC/ BW/120/2020 between Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere vs. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila & 5 Ors.) restraining the Police and its agents from arresting or detaining in any manner Mr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere.
Our attention was also drawn to the inhuman and degradable treatments being meted out to Mr. Ikenga Imo while in Police custody and the manner in which his lawyers who went to the Police Force Headquarters (Loius Edet House) to secure his bail were treated with scorn, contempt and disdain for carrying out their professional duties.
Information available to the NBA Bwari Branch reveals that when Mr. Ikenga Imo’s lawyers met with the CP and ACP of IGP Monitoring Unit for the release of Mr. Ikenga and confronted them with the said Court Order restraining the Police from arresting Mr. Ikenga Imo, (the lawyers) were surprisingly given the following conditions for the release of Mr. Ikenga Imo:
(1) Federal Permanent Secretary and Civil Servant with a landed properties in Abuja and the landed property MUST have C of O;
(2) N100m Bail Bond.
When Mr. Ikenga’s lawyers raised alarm over the stringent and unreasonable bail conditions granted their Client, the ACP then said that they should wait for the IGP because the Inspector General of Police (IGP) had contacted the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who is the complainant and that the IGP was going to have meeting with the lawyers and the Speaker (Complainant).
The NBA Bwari Branch is seriously disturbed by these developments – the laws of the land are being brazenly breached by those who are meant to protect them. More disturbed is the fact that the violators of the laws are senior members of the Bar. It is important to state that the complainant, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is not only a lawyer but a law-maker and the IGP is also a lawyer and they are illegally keeping a colleague in custody for personal aggrandisments and ego in spite of two subsisting order of Court barring them from doing so.
We condemn, in very strong terms, the actions of the Police (in particular, the IGP) and the Speaker who have constituted themselves into a Court of the land to continue to keep an innocent man in custody particularly at a time like this when everyone is expected to be in their homes in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The NBA Bwari Branch is worried at the spate of violation of Court orders in Nigeria by government officials. If this ugly trend is not checked, it has the propensity of plunging this country into anarchy (that is if we are not already in a state of anarchy in Nigeria).
We therefore call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mohammed Tanko (who assured Nigerians at the NBA Annual General Conference, 2019 held in Lagos of the firm resolve of the Judiciary under his watch to be fearless and live above board and also recently said that every Court’s order MUST be obeyed) to rise up to this occasion and speak truth to power even if he’s alone – but we assure the CJN that he won’t be alone on this matter. Nigerians ,Bwari branch and the world are solidly with him.
We call on the Bar and the Bench to be united as never before to resist this executive rascality and brigandage and speak in unison to condemn this crass and wanton disregard for rules of law under a democratic setup. When the Orders of our Courts are obeyed in breach and treated with disdain, then their would not be any reason for the Bench to continue to exist. God forbid!!!
We as lawyers must shun partisanship, ethnicity, and every form of religious sentiments and be more Nigerian like we have never been and condemn this affront and war on the judiciary.
Yesterday, in this country, Justices, journalists and others were victims of high handedness. Today, Mr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere is the victim. Tomorrow, you may be next.
We should be mindful of the words of Martin Luther King Jnr when he said, “…the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal”
We must equally heed and assimilate the warnings of Edmund Burke when he said, All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent”
Therefore, we must speak up in unison to condemn these brazen disregard to Rules of Law and abuse of power particularly by government officials to avoid the hottest place in hell – for our silence is no longer fashionable! Our silence has become obsolete!
We condemn in very strong terms, the continued detention of Mr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere in spite of Court Orders barring the Police from doing so and we hereby call upon the Police to release him forthwith and unconditionally. If the Police has any case against him, they should arraign him before a competent Court of law. The IGP should stop desecrating the high office of the IGP by doing the biddings of the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to oppress a fellow Nigerian.
If this salient request is not granted as soon as possible, we shall have no other option than to mobilize members of the Bar for mass protest against flagrant disobedience to Court Orders by the IGP and the Speaker.
Enough is Enough!!!
CLEMENT CHUKWUEMEKA ESQ
Bwari Branch (Capital Bar)