DETAINED LAWYER WRITES NBA, DEMANDS WRITTEN APOLOGY FROM POLICE CHIEF
Hapless senior lawyer who was detained by a senior police officer for ‘coming late to an appointment’ has demanded a written apology from the police chief.
CITY LAWYER had reported that under-fire Commissioner of Police in-charge of Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) Annex, Lagos, Mr. Salisu Gyadi Gyadi had apologized to Odukale for his detention alongside his client.
But in a letter Odukale made available to CITY LAWYER addressed to Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN, Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Security Agencies Relations Committee (NBA-SARC), Odukale stated that only a written apology will fully assuage his hurt.
While thanking the committee “for its timely intervention and solid support over this unfortunate incident within hours of receiving the complaint,” Odukale noted that “The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Salisu GyadiGyadi has personally reached out and apologized to me. I accept this gesture in this spirit of peace and reconciliation.”
In the letter dated March 16, 2022 and titled “RE: MY ILLEGAL DETENTION,” Odukale warned that “to avert a recurrence and for the protection of lawyers, I would also like a written apology from the Commissioner of Police to me, my client and all lawyers and the Association. Injury to one is injury to all.”
CITY LAWYER recalls that Odukale was detained on the orders of Gyadi for allegedly coming late to a scheduled meeting to resolve a charge of “threat to life” arising from a matrimonial dispute.
The 57-year-old senior lawyer, who was admitted to the Bar 31 years ago, stated that following former DIG Taiwo Lakanu’s intervention, Gyadi had called him severally to apologize for the debacle, saying that he was “surprised and worried when I heard about your detention by my officers.”
The police chief stated that he came to grip with the full picture of the matter during a “marathon party interview,” adding that “our main aim is to see that the parties settled.” He expressed a desire to meet with the senior lawyer “one on one” to “dialogue” with him and personally apologize over the debacle.
Odukale had thanked CITY LAWYER for putting a spotlight on his plight, saying that many lawyers and non-lawyers had called to sympathize with him. “I am happy that as a result of the report, NBA finally rose to the occasion,” said Odukale.
Odukale had told CITY LAWYER that his ordeal started when he accompanied his client to a meeting with Gyadi, adding that immediately the duo entered the meeting room, Gyadi said he would “personally sign” their detention order for coming late to the meeting.
He said that the matter revolved around a domestic violence complaint incidented by his client at the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), adding that the team referred the matter to the Adeniji Adele Police Station. He stated that a police team from the station visited the suspect, and that the suspect turned around to levy a charge that he and his client brought “thugs” to threaten him. Odukale added that “threat to life” is not an offence known to Nigeria’s jurisprudence.
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