The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA NBA, Okrika Branch has called attention to the unlawful detention of one of its members, Michael Dikibugerere S. Amatonjie by the police in Port Harcourt.
In a statement on Monday, the Chairman Kalada D. S. Nonju, Esq., said:
“Good evening, Distinguished Officers and members of the NBA. We just received troubling information that a member of the Bar, called in 2018 by name Michael Dikibugerere S. Amatonjie, Esq. is presently detained at the Mile One Diobu police station, Port Harcourt. He was arrested by officers of the CP-X Squad of Mile One Diobu Police Division in Port Harcourt, with respect to a petition he wrote against the police on behalf of a client.
“We hereby raise alarm over the actions of the police against Michael D. S. Amatonjie, Esq., who recently took steps to join us in the Okrika Branch, Rivers State,” Mr. Nonju said.
Sadly, Nigeria has continued to witness a rise in intimidation, threats and reprisals against lawyers in the course of rendering professional duties to their clients.
The frequent attacks on the independence of lawyers must, again, be condemned. Lawyers should not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes. The government has a duty to take measures in ensuring that law enforcement officers recognise the vital role played by lawyers in upholding the rule of law and promoting and protecting human rights.