By Unini Chioma
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the assault meted out on a physically challenged lawyer at Abuja by the officers of the Nigerian Police.
The position of NBA was made known in a statement made available to TheNigeriaLawyer (TNL) signed by Kunle Edun, the National Publicity Secretary of the Association.
The statement reads:
“Kassim Olalekan Lawal Esq. is a member of the Association of Lawyers With Disabilities. On Sunday, the 19th day of April, 2020 he and his niece decided to show true patriotism and love by distributing food items (as palliatives) to some members of the Association of Lawyers with Disabilities in Nigeria FCT Chapter and the Nigerian Association of the Blind, FCT Chapter resident in Kubwa; for and on behalf of a good spirited Nigerian, who donated the items.
“Upon making his third delivery in the evening at about 7:00 pm around Bauchi Road, off 2-1, beside Infini Mart Supermarket, Kubwa and having mounted the motorcycle hired for that purpose, a group of policemen in a police van suddenly showed up and started assaulting him from the rear, without the courtesy of asking him why he was at that place. The Policemen continued beating him inspite of his pleas. It was not until when Mr. Lawal repeatedly screamed on top of his voice introducing himself and what he was doing, that the beating stopped. The bikeman told him that the persons that assaulted him were policemen.
“As a result of the injuries inflicted on Mr. Lawal he had to seek urgent medical attention and reported the incident to the Phase 4 police station. He also registered his complaint with the Police control number: 0805700000.
“Mr. Lawal, is a member of the Abuja branch of the NBA and the branch is following up on the matter to ensure that Mr. Lawal gets justice.
“The Nigerian Bar Association reiterates its call to the Inspector General of Police to call his officers to order. As at the last count more than 21 Nigerians have been reported to have died in the hands of security personnel. With the increasing rate of rights violations attributed to men of the Police Force, the Police should not be surprised with the avalanche of law suits by the victims that may follow the recklessness of its officers.
“The attack on Mr. Lawal was unjustified and rascally on the part of the Policemen involved. The NBA demands that the IGP investigates this matter and bring the Policemen to book. Notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria is still a country of laws where the fundamental rights of Nigerians are guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”