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Owerri lawyers return to court, push for CP’s redeployment

By Emeka Odogwu

OWERRI—AFTER the three days court boycott elapsed in Imo State over an alleged assault on a Chief Magistrate, Ngozi Onyenemezu and two lawyers by men of the Nigeria Police Force, the chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Owerri branch, Damian Nosike has called for the redeployment of the State Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galadanchi.

Nosike who disclosed this while speaking with Vanguard through the telephone said the branch would write the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Police Service Commission and human rights organisations, requesting the immediate redeployment of the police boss.

Further, Nosike demanded for the prosecution and dismissal of the Ngor Okpala Divisional Police Officer, DPO E. Moses, a Superintendent of Police  for leading the invasion of the court.

Magistrate Ngozi Onyenemezu had in her court ruling, struck out a criminal charge preferred against three armed robbery suspects saying the charge was defective ab initio.

The NBA alleged that the action infuriated the police and they  invaded the court, beat up the two defence counsel that appeared for the suspects, fired many sporadic gun shots and harassed the magistrate.

However, the police have denied the claim, insisting that the lawyers took  the law into their hands by breaking chairs and assaulting armed policemen for trying to re-arrest the suspects.

The NBA chairman, Nosike explained that lawyers in the state will return to the court rooms but added that they would continue with their demand for the redeployment of the commissioner out of Imo State.

Reacting to allegations of subjudice of the court matter wherein the lawyers are facing trial, Nosike said there was no iota of truth in it.

He said, “what does the CP know about law? The grouse for our protest and boycott of court sittings throughout the state and the matter which is in court are not the same. While the matter in court is charges against two of our members, our grouse for protest is the police desecration of the court. These are two different issues”, Nosike stated.

According to him, the actions of the policemen amount to desecration of the court and the NBA as officers of the court will not fold its arms and allow it happen or continue.

He said “ we insist on the redeployment of the State Commissioner of Police because we can’t work with him. We also want the IGP to immediately dismiss the Ngor Okpala Divisional Police Officer who led the assault to serve as deterrent to others because they are no longer worthy to be policemen” Nosike said.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Ngozi Onyenemezu has submitted her report to the appropriate quarters over the July 19, 2018 court incident, wherein she heavily indicted the DPO, Superintendent Moses, Nosike disclosed.

He expressed reservations at the verbal attacks launched out against Magistrate Ngozi by the police during the court malady saying “do you know the Police called the Magistrate a prostitute”, he said in between sighs.




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