I commend the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association for its prompt response to the court invasion by the DSS. The statement issued is very encouraging and timely indeed. That is what is expected, given that the main objective of the NBA is to promote the rule of law.
I suggest the following further steps: 1. A meeting with the CJN and AGF to consult on possible steps to be taken to protect judges and the courts from further invasion. As it was happening in Abuja, so also was it happening in the Federal High Court in Lagos where it was reported that members of the Lagos State Environmental Task Force stormed the court and even stabbed an officer of the court.
The purpose of this meeting is to secure the courts with a functional police post as is done in the National Assembly and even houses of assembly of the states.
2. To ensure that the DSS is made to account for the events of December 6, 2019.
3. To also meet with the leadership of the National Assembly, the committees on judiciary and human rights and law enforcement with a view to getting the DSS to be brought to book.
4. To demand the immediate disengagement of the present leadership of the DSS and all its officers involved in the invasion.
5. To meet with the AG of Lagos State to unravel the invasion of Lagos court and bring those involved to book.
6. To visit CJ of Federal High Court and Hon Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu for solidarity and consultations.
Henceforth, let the NBA get its members involved in any government to be held accountable for any breach of the rule of law by the government and its officers and agencies.
In any state where there is glaring disobedience of the order of court or brazen infraction of the constitution, the AG of that state should be referred to the LPDC and if he’s a SAN, also to the LPPC.
The same should happen to the AGF when it involves the Federal Government and its agencies.
Then the counsel involved in such cases for the government should be held accountable by the NBA and the bar generally and be suspended forthwith.
Unless we act swiftly and urgently now, there seems to be more ahead in the coming days.
Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Senior Advocate of Nigeria