When, a few days ago, news broke and went viral about the assault on a young female lawyer by police operatives at 3-3 Police Station in Anambra. I found it reprehensible, unbelievable and unacceptable ! I immediately commenced a personal and discreet investigation into the repugnant event. I have been sufficiently apprised of the events leading up to and aftermath of the unfortunate event, I strongly condemn the attack on a female Legal practitioner, Miss. Chiamaka Nwangwu, who was physically assaulted by Police operatives led by the DPO, CSP Jane Mbanefo at the Police station at 3-3, Anambra State.
It is unjustifiable, unfortunate and totally wrong for the police to prevent legal practitioners from communicating with, or gaining access to their clients by assaulting them. The illegal acts of harassment and physical assault on the lawyer did not only amount to a breach of her constitutional right to carry out her lawful duty, but also amounted to a gross violation of the provisions of the criminal code and the fundamental rights of the victim. Most unsettling is the report that this criminal and detestable act had regularly been inflicted on lawyers by the same CSP Mbanefo as revealed by the experiences of other lawyers.
I have spoken personally to Miss. Nwangwu, and I am fully abreast of latest developments as well as the resolutions of the NBA Onitsha branch meeting of 26 January 2018 where the matter was dealt with. I commend Miss. Chiamaka Nwangwu for her courage in bringing this untoward incident to the general public. It is indeed a slap on the legal profession at large and exposes the existence of unsuitable elements which should not be allowed to do further damage to the image of the Nigeria Police. Such a brazen attack must be redressed and the perpetrators prosecuted and sanctioned severely to demonstrate that our country is one of law and order and not a place where might is right. The entire incident is unacceptable and leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.,
I am personally supporting and will follow up on the steps the NBA Onitsha Branch are taking in pursuing the matter to a logical conclusion and bringing the culprits to book. I am also aware that complaints have been made to the Public Complaints rapid Response Unit of the Nigeria Police force concerning this issue.
Arthur Obi Okafor SAN