Ben Agande – Kaduna
Lawyers on Kaduna State have taken umbrage at the Department of State Services (DSS) in the manner of rearresting Mr Omoyole Sowore, saying the action of the secret police was not only condemnable but portends great danger for the country’s democracy.
In an interview with Vanguard in Kaduna, the former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Barnawa Branch, Napoleon Idenala; the Vice Chairman of the Kaduna Branch of NBA, Mike Nwakanma and another prominent Abuja based lawyer, Soji Olowolafe said there was no justification for the actions of the DSS.
According to Napoleon Idenala who was the immediate past chairman of the NBA Barnawa branch, “the action of the operatives of the DSS in using aggravated and unwarranted force to arrest Sowore is sad, unfortunate and an utter insult to the sanctity of our Judicial system and it is utterly alarming that it happened in the court.
“I am afraid that it portends a total eroding of the respect, powers and influence of our Judiciary as enshrined in the Constitution with regards to separation of powers of the 3 arms of Government.
“To imagine that the party sought to be arrested was neither armed nor constituting any physical danger to the operatives is even more worrisome. We are not at this point talking about the allegations against Sowore, which is already before the court but the sad actions of the operatives of the DSS,” he said.
In his reaction, the Vice-chairman of the NBA Kaduna main branch, Now Nwakanma, said the action of the DSS was “illegal and condemnable.
“If we are truly in a democracy; democracy in legal parlance simply means due process and obedience to the rule of law. It is evident that what we have witnessed as a people and a nation over the past five years of democracy is unprecedented impunity; disobedience and selective obedience of Court orders and judgements; lack of respect for the rule of law; invitation to anarchy; denigration and desecration of the judiciary in Nigeria by the executive arm of government at different levels.
“Section 43(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law ( ACJA) 2015; forbids law enforcement agents from effecting arrest after any person in in the Courtroom or within the Court promises. There is nothing esoteric about the above Section of ACJA,” he said.
On his part, Soji Olowolafe said the action of the DSS was condemnable’ as it poses a threat to the nation’s democracy.
“It is the highest level of the desecration of any hallowed chambers of justice anywhere you can ever find. It portends serious danger to our democracy. In any democracy where the executive can ride roughshod over the judiciary in that manner, such democracy is in name only. It is an absolute autocracy,” he said.