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Femi Falana berates police brutality against lawyers, calls for justice

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mr. Femi Falana has criticised the police for their inhumane treatment of lawyers and the general public. Falana, a human rights activist, expressed his dismay during a protest in Lagos where hundreds of lawyers gathered to denounce the alleged brutality by the Lagos State Police Command personnel.

The peaceful protest organised by the Ikeja, Ikorodu, Badagry, and Epe branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) aimed to address the recent maltreatment of lawyer Mr. Olumide Sonubi. The lawyer was reportedly unlawfully detained by the police at Gowon Estate Police Station for two days, leading to his hospitalisation on Dec. 30, 2023, over an alleged assault on a police officer during negotiations.

Falana emphasised the need to stand against the brutalisation of lawyers and citizens by the police. He stated, “The NBA decided to make a case through the affected colleague to say no to brutalisation of lawyers and the citizens by the police.”

The NBA demanded a thorough investigation into the incident. Falana commended the Commissioner of Police for announcing that an investigation was underway. He mentioned that the NBA was taking steps to file actions to protect the human rights of their colleagues.


“I am happy the commissioner of police announced today that investigation is ongoing. The commissioner also indicated that lawyers should be prepared to be members of the committee since the police have nothing to hide. Besides the report, the NBA is also taking certain steps to file actions to protect the human rights of our colleagues to make a point that if anything of that nature happens to any lawyer, the NBA will take it up,” Falana said.

The Chairman of NBA, Ikeja Branch, Mr. Seyi Olawunmi, condemned the actions of the divisional police officer of Gowon Estate and called for a thorough investigation involving the NBA. Olawunmi clarified that the protest was about seeking justice, emphasising that everyone, including lawyers, should be treated with civility at police stations.

NAN reported that the Lagos branch of the NBA mobilised around 700 lawyers across the state for the protest march from the NBA Ikeja Branch secretariat to the headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command. Other NBA chairmen present at the protest included Mr. Olabisi Makanjuola, Lagos NBA Chairman, Mr. Emeka Ralph, Badagry NBA Chairman, and Mr. Wale Adegoke, NBA Ota Branch.

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