Two Lagos lawyers are currently having a bleak Christmas celebration, having been detained by the Nigeria Police at their station in Ikoyi, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report.

In a save-our-soul message to CITY LAWYER, one of the victims, Ogechukwu Agbazue said: “Good evening, Sir. I’m being detained at Ikoyi Police Station now. Please call or write to anyone that can help.”

Information available to CITY LAWYER indicated that Agbazue and her colleague may have been detained in lieu of their clients who are suspects in an alleged scam being investigated by the police.

Agbazue is a member of both Ikeja Branch and African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA). While there are strong indications that the Ikeja Branch leadership is yet unaware of the case, the firebrand AWLA President, Mrs. Mandy Asagba is said to have already intervened in the matter. CITY LAWYER gathered that though Asagba telephoned the station around midnight seeking release of the lawyers on self-recognisance, her pleas were scorned, as the officer said she lacked the power to order their release.

Also, though the lawyers assured the police operatives of their full cooperation while the investigations lasted, this fell on deaf ears.

Section 7 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015 provides that “A person shall not be arrested in place of a suspect.”

It was unclear at press time whether the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) leadership is aware of the plight of the lawyers. Against the backdrop of the fraud charges levied against NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN, the NBA National Executive Committee (NBA-NEC) meeting in Abuja deprecated alleged encroachment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on matters bordering on lawyer-client privilege.

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