Lawyers Protest, Courts Shut as Police Detain Law Prof
• Lawyers Storm Police Station
• Police Cave In, Release Law Teacher, Apologize
Members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Umuahia Branch yesterday stormed the Umuahia Area Command of the Nigerian Police to rescue Prof. Patrick Ugochukwu from the clutches of police operatives.
A post by one Enyinnaya Uwaezuoke had blown the lid off the incarceration of the law teacher. Confirming the incident as narrated by Uwaezuoke, the branch chairman, Mr. Nnamdi Eluwa said: “Yes. We did just that.”
CITY LAWYER gathered that the arrest of the law teacher may not be unconnected with a petition on behalf of Pastor Achinike Okechukwu of Salvation Ministries Church dated 1st August, 2018 alleging that Prof. Ugochukwu assaulted one Paul Ogbonna, a member of the petitioner’s church.
The petition which was obtained by CITY LAWYER reads inter alia: “We were told by our client that on 24/6/18, this (Pastor) David came with his goons and one Ugochukwu Patrick Esq. and fought our client and his pastors, and this Ugochukwu Patrick assaulted one of the workers in the Fellowship (Paul Ogbonna) with plastic seat unprovoked.”
The petitioner had urged the police command to “direct that this David and his goons be investigated, arrested and prosecuted for the above mentioned offences.”
Uwaezuoke had written: “This morning the members and leadership of the NBA Umuahia Branch lawfully engaged the Police at the Area Command in relation to the unlawful incarceration of Professor P. C. Ugochukwu by the Police.
“Fear and doubt did not force on us inefficiency and sense of abandonment of one of our own (a learned Professor of law). The disgraceful conduct of the Police officers this morning when we arrived the at the Area Commander’s Office rather provoked more boisterousness faith and devotion to the cause of our Learned friend through the inscrutable power of the Most High God.
“In the result the Police bowed to the superior pressure of the NBA Umuahia Branch and immediately released our Learned Friend on self recognizance. The Area Commander also tendered an unreserved apology to the Learned Professor of law.
“The Bar today neither flinched nor wavered in her pursuit and defence of what is right and just. The Bar demonstrated today that eternal vigilance is the price for liberty, freedom and equality.
“Nnamdi Eluwa EXCO appreciates the solidarity of members of the Umuahia Bar and the support of the Okigwe Bar in condemning the actions of the Police which to say the least was not only primitive but also obnoxious. The Courts did not sit in both Umuahia and Okigwe, all in a bid to show solidarity to our noble cause. We appreciate the judicial courage of the bench in this regard. Henceforth the Bar will never again allow anti-democratic forces to run roughshod over our society and our country men.”
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