Forum of Chairmen of the Nigerian Bar Association Branches in Delta State has expressed great consternation to the wanton destruction of courthouses in parts of the country.
The statement signed by the Chairmen of the nine branches that make up the Forum reads:
The #ENDSARS protests were on in the country for about two weeks and the President of the Nigeria Bar Association directed all its brunches nationwide, to reinvigorate their Human Rights Committee, to take up probano services for any of the peaceful protesters arrested by Security Agents.
The NBA Branches in Delta State, were therefore shocked to observe that the High Court premises near Koka Junction Asaba, was vandalized and set ablaze by protestors.
This occurred a day after the Federal Road Safety Corp premises and part of the Smart Delta Garden, both located along the Anaba/Onitsha Expressway, Asaba, were destroyed.
Further shocking was the attack on the Federal Correctional Facility, Okere, Warri, by same unknown persons Information gleaned from the social media showed that, Court buildings in States like Lagos, Ondo, Anambra and Bwari, within the Federal Capital Territory were also attacked. Our online platforms were filled with gut wrenching videos and pictures of these horrible acts by unknown hoodlums who went on to pack the court rooms within the buildings, making away with court records, documents and work equipment.
One recurrent decimal in all these reprehensible incidents, were the absence of any form of security intervention from any of the uniformed or covert security apparatus of State.
We cannot overstate the importance of protecting our halls of justice in times like these, where dark clouds abound or where years of judicial work have boen set back by these unfortunate events of the past few days.
We are thankful that there were no incidents of death or injury to members of our branches or staff of the Delta State Judiciary who barely escaped by the skin of their teeth in the face of an invading army of hoodlums, who operated with reckless abandon without any let or hindrance from any police or military presence.
The NBA Branches in Delta State condemn, in unequivocal terms, this wanton destruction of our halls of justice in Asaba, Ondo, Lagos, Onitsha and Bwari and most emphatically urge the State and security agencies to step up to the plate, bring those responsible for this carnage to book and take urgent steps to provide extra protection for our Judicial Officers and other important locations of critical importance like Court houses and other public facilities.
In times like this, we always call on our members to remain calm, vigilant and security conscious Let us rensolute in the pursuit of our calling, the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law and good governace in Nigeria.
We wish to bring to the notice of the general public that the Human Rights Committees of the various NBA Branches in the State are still willing and ready to continue provision of pro-bono services for all members of the public who were unlawfully arrested and detained white carrying out peaceful protests and/or in the course of their lawful duties as the NBA supports the clarion call for good governance in Nigeria.
Forum Chairam, CHIEF EMMANUEL O. UTI Chairman, Warri Branch
A.N. ESEAGWU, ESQ Chairman, Asaba Branch
B.E. ISETIN, ESQ. Chairman, Agbor Branch
F.O. OKOLIE, ESQ. Chairman, Ogwashi-Uku Branch
E.S. AYO-OKHIRIA, LP Forum Secretary Chairman, Ughelli Branch
S.C. ODOH, ESQ Chairman, Sapele Branch
A.T. ANIKO, ESQ Chairman, Oleh Branch
JONATHAN EKPERUSI Chairman, Effurun Branch
PATRICK MEKAKO Chairman, Udu Branch