The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the arrest of three lawyers who were working on a petition for the All Progressives Congress in the Rivers state Governorship election. In a statement issued by the association’s National Publicity Secretary, Akorede Habeeb, the NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau, described the incident as unfortunate and disturbing.
The Association also promised to push for sanctions against any police officer found to have abused their office in the incident.
The lawyers, Jerry Aondo, Sobere Nelson, and Odum Eyiba, were said to be preparing the petition in a hotel in the state when they were arrested by the police.
They are representing the governorship candidate of the APC Tonye Cole, who is challenging the outcome of the election which produced Simi Fubara of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) as Governor-elect.
Maikyau condemned the use of police officers as tools for contravening the rule of law.
He disclosed that although the police authorities had assured him of their release, the NBA would ensure that those involved in the lawyers’ arrest would face the law.
The president warned that situations where the police were apparently being used to harass and intimidate lawyers, is a direct affront to the rule of law and a threat to the nation’s democracy.