[From CHRIS EZE, Yenagoa]
Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has condemned in strong terms the Wednesday invasion of a high court by hoodlums in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
A statement jointly issued by the Yenagoa and Sagbama branches of NBA in the state urged relevant authorities to go after the perpetrators of the barbaric act and bring them to book.
“The Executives and entire members of the Yenagoa and Sagbama branches of the NBA hereby do condemn in its entirety the unprovoked and unwarranted invasion of Court 3 of the Bayelsa State High Court presided over by Hon. Justice N. Aganaba on the 13th day of April, 2022 while the court was in session over an intra All Progressive Congress (APC) dispute.
“It is quite worrisome to imagine that perpetrators of this provocative act could invade and desecrate the sanctity of the court while the court was in session. The judiciary is the last hope of the common man and it is disheartening to see this kind of bare affront on the rule of law culminating into a show of shame as witnessed yesterday. This is an affront that deserves the highest condemnation and we so do”.
The statement said in line with the motto of NBA, “Promoting the Rule of Law” it would neither stand by and watch, nor tolerate such high level sort of “macabre dance” perpetrated by litigants and their supporters who feel the decision of the court in one way or the other may not be in their favour.
“The NBA Yenagoa and Sagbama Branches do hereby state unequivocally that it will do all within its powers to ensure that the culprits are brought to book. This includes any errant member of the Bar discovered to have masterminded or to have been part of this unholy alliance to desecrate the court. The NBA will not hesitate to commence disciplinary proceedings against such errant member.
“We therefore call on the relevant security agencies particularly the Police to launch an immediate thorough investigation and fish out the perpetrators of this unwarranted invasion, with an intention to make them face the wrath of the law as soon as possible,” the statement read in part.
The statement, while further expressing satisfaction that some suspects have already been apprehended, pledged readiness of the NBA to follow up the prosecution of the case to its logical conclusion.
The statement signed by U. Saiyou, Esq and Ebinyu George Aderigha, Esq, the Chairman, Yenagoa and Sagbama NBA branches, respectively, assured members of the general public of the sustenance of the independence and neutrality of the Judiciary in the resolution of disputes and determination of issues brought before it as the last hope of the common man, however warned anybody no matter how highly placed that intends to emulate the ignoble behavior to desist forthwith, saying such acts can never be condoned.
“To all those that were involved in this dastard act, we remind you that there is a reward for every action as the long arms of the law will definitely catch up with you.
“To the general public, we urge everyone to remain calm and keep faith with the Judiciary as Justice can never be intimidated. The Bayelsa State Judiciary will definitely rise above this sore taste in the mouth of its history.
“We commend the bravery of Hon. Justice N. Aganaba who refused to be intimidated even in the face of such an attack and made an attempt to reprimand the invaders. We are indeed happy that his lordship was not harmed and so the hoodlums did not succeed in ruining the imminent retirement of his lordship billed to commence in a few days time.
“Finally, we pray that God will imbue in all Judges of the Bayelsa State Judiciary the needed strength to dispense justice without fear or favour in this trying times”.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Police Command has remanded two suspects in prison custody for their involvement in the invasion of the Bayelsa State High court and attack on High court judge.
A statement signed by the State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Bautswat Asinim said the suspects include one; Promise Ogilogi ‘m’ and Azibabin Adiki ‘m’ who were arrested on 13 April 2022.
“The Commissioner of Police Bayelsa State Command, CP Ben Nebolisa Okolo, fdc, has charged Police operatives to intensify efforts to arrest the fleeing suspects and warn unequivocally, that the command is poised to deal decisively with anyone or group of persons who hide under any guise to disrupt the existing peace in the State.
“The Command hereby assures members of the public, particularly the Judiciary that adequate security measures have been put in place, to ensure the safety and sanctity of the court room and to forestall future occurrence”, the statement assured.