The Anambra State Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has said that it is not in support of anarchy and people going into the streets to destroy public and private properties, just as it does not support crime of any form.
It also urge the Federal Government to ensure that people who were arrested for any crime during the #EndSARS protest must be given their constitutionally guaranteed right to access to justice.
The Bar frowned at idea of arresting people and clamping them into detention, while investigation into their case are still ongoing, saying such is not what the law say.
The Chairman of all the Chairmen of the the eight branches of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA in the state and Chairman of Ihiala branch of NBA, Mr Vitalis Ihedigbo disclosed this while speaking with newsmen during the Law Dinner and award of honours to deserving individuals, to conclude the Law Week of NBA Ihiala branch, entitled, ‘Emerging trends in legal practice’.
He said that one of the reforms expected from the Nigeria Police Force after the #EndSARS protest is the act of conducting and completing their investigations before arresting suspects, saying that “arrest is the last point of criminal prosecution before suspect is taken to court.”
The Anambra State NBA has made its position clear about #EndSARS protest, we are not in support of anarchy and going into the streets to destroy public and private properties, just as it does not support crime of any form.
“The idea of arresting people and detaining them while investigation and fishing for evidence against the particular person or suspected that allegedly committed the crime must be discarded, because it is against international best at practice.
“We demand that people who were arrested for any crime during the #EndSARS protest must be given their constitutionally guaranteed right to access to justice, they should not be arrested and clamped into detention, while investigation into their case are still ongoing, such is not what the law say.
“The problem we have in our criminal justice administration is conducting reckless investigation, not tiding up and muddling up investigation, which makes prosecution difficult and denies victims and offenders justice.”
On the impression that lawyers are liars and they aid criminals to escape justice, and the seeming loss of confidence in them, Mr Ihedigbo dismissed the perception, saying that “what lawyer do is to employ or deploy their skills and take advantage of the law to champion or push forward the interest of their clients.”
Mr Ihedigbo, however, reminded the lawyers in the state and Ihiala in particular that the conventional way of their legal practice is giving way for modern trends, adding that Information Communication Technology, ICT, has seriously altered and distorted most of the things they hold as lawyers, urging them to catch up with the new trends or be swept out of the profession.
Some of the people given awards by NBA were, Hon. Justice J. I Nweze, Administrative Judge, High Court of Anambra State, Onitsha Judicial Division, Hon. Chris Azubogu, Igwe Gabriel Umeh, of Akwaezikenyi community Ihiala, Dr Pascal Agbodike, Ichie Simon.Okeke, Mr Henry Okolie-Aboh., Chief Daniel Cjukwudozie.