Brutality: Joyce Oduah FICMC condemns Police assault against Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.
I am utterly appalled and deeply disturbed by the distressing incident our colleague experienced at the DSS Office. His account of the blatant disregard for the rule of law, the brutality, and the outright abuse of power has become common place. However, it remains not only shocking but completely unacceptable in a democratic society.
How can those entrusted with upholding the law engage in such egregious behavior? No one, lawyer or otherwise, should ever be subjected to such treatment while seeking justice or representing a client.
I am happy that the matter has been brought to the attention of the Security Agencies Relation Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association.
I implore the committee to take swift and decisive action in investigating this matter. Such actions must not go unpunished, and those responsible for this flagrant abuse of authority must be held accountable.
We can not allow our society to devolve into a place where the law is disregarded and where those responsible for maintaining order act with impunity. I commend the courage of my colleague Douglas Ogbankwa, Esq, in sharing this ordeal, and we must ensure that justice prevails.
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I stand with him in demanding that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is made aware of this grave injustice, and that steps are taken to ensure the safety and security of all citizens, especially those seeking justice within the confines of the law.
NBA need to take steps to reduce such incidents to the barest minimum. I suggest that we make fully operational, at the national and branch levels, a 24/7 legal helpline to provides lawyers with immediate access to guidance and support when they encounter such situations that challenge their rights or safety. Also, NBA need to include in our ICLE courses trainings that educate lawyers on their rights and responsibilities during interactions with law enforcement agencies and on conflict resolution and de-escalation skillls.