Attack on Lawyers by the Police Must Stop – Mazi Afam Osigwe

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The brazen violation of the fundamental rights of Nigerians by men of the Nigerian Police Force has taken a frightening turn with the arrest and detention of lawyers who accompanied Senator Dino Melaye to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) office Guzape, Abuja to write his statement in respect of an allegation made against him. This appears to be part of series of acts designed by the police to harass and intimidate lawyers in the lawful exercise of their duties to their clients which started in Onitsha moved to Lagos and now Abuja.

The incessant harrassment of lawyers by law enforcement agents in the course of rendering service to their clients, bodes ill for the society. This has indeed become a major threat to the legal profession. The legal practitioners must be able to represent their clients without any form of intimidation by law enforcement agents.

We will not be cowed. A lawyer engaged to represent his/her client is working in his line of duty and should be able to execute his duty without any form of intimidation, threat, harassment, fear and or victimization.

The arrest and detention of David Amafuela and Pius Udo-Inyang by the police is highly condemnable. It is an affront to democracy and rule of law. Their subsequent arraignment and remand in prison to an order of court does not detract from the arbitrariness of the Police actions.

If such unlawful actions by the security agencies continue unchecked, fundamental rights of people may not amount to much in such a climate of impunity.

I deprecate this unsavory conduct . It must stop. These lawyers must be released forthwith and the charges against them dropped. We must rise up to ensure this recklessness stops. Enough is enough.

Mazi Afam Osigwe

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