The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), on Wednesday, described as despicable, the July 25 altercation between the Department of State Security Service and officials of Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) before a Federal High Court Lagos.
NBA President, Mr Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), has consequently called for disciplinary measures against officers involved in the shameful act.
He made this known in a statement in Lagos on Wednesday, in reaction to the recent faceoff between officials of the sister agencies over custody of suspended governor of the Central Bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele.
Emefiele was arraigned by the Ministry of Justice over alleged illegal possession of firearms.
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He was granted bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum and the court had ordered that he be remanded in the Ikoyi correctional facility, pending perfection of his bail.
Trouble, however, started when officials of the correctional service, sought to take Emefiele into custody but were resisted by men of the DSS who were armed to the “teeth”.
DSS had sought to re-arrest Emefiele and take him to their custody instead.
The ensuing disagreement had resulted in a fight between some men of the DSS who manhandled a senior official of the prisons.
Reacting to the development, the NBA president urged disciplinary measures by the government, on the defaulting parties.
“The NBA has further condemned the brazen disrespect for the judicial process and sanctity of the court premises.
“The NBA has particularly denounced the DSS for its peculiar part in the disgraceful and unlawful conduct, considering the fact that the Court had earlier ordered that the suspended CBN governor be kept in a custodial centre pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
“A situation where officers of Federal Government agencies engage in a fight as witnessed by the public, for whatever reason, is antithetical to our security as a nation and creates a recipe for anarchy and chaos.
“Both the DSS and the NCoS are important institutions dealing with national security and administration of justice respectively, and the need for them to work in concert toward attaining justice in a secured Nigeria cannot be over-emphasised,” the statement read in part.
The NBA said while it is difficult not to hold the leadership of the two Federal Government agencies directly responsible for the shameful and disgraceful conduct of the personnel, the NBA president has particularly called on the two agencies “to take immediate disciplinary measures against the officers involved in this disgraceful conduct”.
In addition to this disciplinary measure, Maikyau also called for a complete overhaul of the institutions and a total reorientation of the personnel, to achieve professionalism and ensure synergy in the discharge of their respective constitutional responsibilities.
He said the NBA remained committed to the promotion and protection of the principles of the rule of law and due process, within a safe and secured Nigeria. (NAN)