By Anayo Okoli
Umuahiaâ€”NIGERIA Bar Association, NBA, Umuahia branch, has called for the removal of the Abia State Police Commissioner, Mr. Jonathan Johnson over allegation that he does not obey court orders. The lawyers said that the Commissionerâ€™s alleged penchant for disobeying court orders â€œis a big threat to democracy and rule of law.â€
Addressing journalists in Umuahia, the NBA Chairman, Umuahia, Mr. Amanze Chioma, said the bar â€œwas worried about the attitude of the police commissioner over court orders.â€ According to him, the police commissioner â€œis behaving as if he has been sent to rubbish the legal system in Abia State. He behaves as if he has been sent here to disgrace lawyers. Every effort we have made to make him obey court orders has not been heeded to. But we donâ€™t want to take the law into our hands.â€
The lawyers cited a number of court orders which they alleged were disobeyed by the police commissioner, a situation they said prompted Justice A.U. Kalu, a High Court Judge in Umuahia, to come hard on the commissioner when he said â€œit is absolutely unacceptable that in present day Nigeria, a Commissioner of Police worth his name and rank will treat the Order of this Court, indeed any Court with so much disdain. I imagine that this is a matter of concern that should excite the attention of the Police Service Commission.â€
But the police commissioner, Johnson, has denied ever disobeying any court order.
He challenged the lawyers to show him the Court Orders he disobeyed.
â€œI have never disobeyed any court order. The issue they are talking about, I donâ€™t know about it. Let NBA show me the court order which we disobeyed. If there is any order I have disobeyed, let them make it public,â€ the police commissioner said.
He blamed his woes on a problem he has with a member of the bar, Chief Anthony Agbazuere over the lawyerâ€™s client who is also one of the subjects of the disobedience of court order against the commissioner.
Umuahia bar had in a letter of 6 April 2010, to the Inspector-General of Police, where they complained about the commissionerâ€™s â€œpersistent disobedience to court orders,â€ listed three court orders which they alleged were disobeyed by the commissioner.