1 April 2023
I read the rather unfortunate and disturbing news of the arrest of three (3) of our
colleagues, Jerry Aondo, Esq, Dr Sobere Nelson, and Odum Eyiba, Esq, in Rivers State.
It was reported that the trio, who all practice in Mr Tuduru Ede, SAN’s law firm in Port
Harcourt, Rivers State, were working on a petition for the All Progressives Congress
(APC) against the declaration by INEC in the just concluded gubernatorial election in
the state and were arrested while preparing the petition in a Hotel where they secured
rooms and lodged for the purpose of the assignment. I have spoken with Mr Tuduru
Ede, SAN and he confirmed the incident.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) strongly condemns such unwarranted harassment
of lawyers in the lawful performance of their professional duties to their clients.
Situations where the instrumentality of the police is apparently being used to harass and
intimidate lawyers, is a direct affront to the rule of law and a threat to our democracy;
it is an invitation to anarchy and chaos, as people would rather resort to self-help than
approach the civil and constitutional means provided for the resolution of disputes.
I reached out to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Commissioner of Police
(CP) Rivers State, and I have been assured of the release of our colleagues.
We shall also take up the matter to ensure that any person(s) including police officers,
who may be found complicit in the events leading to the arrest of our colleagues, is
sanctioned for any possible abuse of office.
I will continue to talk with Mr Tuduru SAN and shall keep you posted on further
developments in this matter.
Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN