LEDAP KNOCKS EFCC OVER ATTACK ON NBA BRANCH CHAIR

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has berated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged attack by its operatives on the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Makurdi Branch, Chairman, Mr. Justin Gbagir.

In a statement made available to CITY LAWYER and signed by LEDAP National Coordinator, Mr. Chino Obiagwu (SAN), the group stated that the action of the operatives violates the fundamental rights of the Bar Leader as entrenched in Section 34 of the 1999 Constitution.

The group noted that from a series of events which occurred on June 8, 2021, it was apparent that Gbagir went to the EFCC Makurdi Branch Office to facilitate bail for Miss Aver Shima, a lawyer with the Benue Sate Ministry of Justice.

Said LEDAP: “From our understanding, Ms. Shima was remanded following an allegation of a legal advice she gave the Chairman of the Universal Basic Education Board and as such is currently undergoing investigation.

“Following this incident, Mr. Gbagir, in the company of other members of the Ministry of Justice visited the EFCC office in Makurdi, but was refused entry into the premises and subjected to humiliation and degrading treatment by the security operatives at the gate; on the allegation that they are ‘agitators’ who have come to protest.

“It took the intervention of the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor, Attorney General of the state and Solicitor General of the state before the delegation was allowed entry into the building.

“Also, we understand that when Mr. Gbagir was introduced to the EFCC Chairman, as the Chairman of the NBA Makurdi branch, he was denied all courtesy. This infuriated Mr. Gbagir and as a result, sought to leave the premises. However, he was swarmed and assaulted by operatives of EFCC, the actions of which were approved by the silent conduct of the EFCC Chairman.”

LEDAP stated that the action of the EFCC operatives not only undermined the position of the NBA chairman, but also of all lawyers. It viewed the action as a mockery of lawyers’ constitutional role as members of the third arm of government.

LEDAP pointed out that the EFCC security operatives were ALSO in breach of Section 34 of the 1999 Constitution on the right to dignity and right to freedom from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment.

LEDAP urged the EFCC to publish an apology to the victim, and demanded that the Attorney General & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) should prosecute the errant officers, adding: “Henceforth, the EFCC is demanded to treat all lawyers with respect in all legal dealings with them.”

Copyright 2020 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on TWITTER at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag. To ADVERTISE in CITY LAWYER, please email citylawyermag@gmail.com or call 08138380083. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

‘Father of ACJA’ Leads Pro Bono Talks

Senior Advocate of Nigeria-designate, Mr. Chino Obiagwu will on August 15 spearhead talks on pro bono and legal aid services in Nigeria. Also known by his sobriquet, ‘The father of Administration of Criminal Justice Act’ due to his pioneering work in birthing the seminal law, Obiagwu will also give an inspirational talk to budding and established pro bono lawyers and legal aid service providers on the theme of the conference. Continue Reading