Tony Okafor, Awka
LAWYERS in Anambra State have warned the police in the area to stop intimidating them.
They said they would no longer tolerate any act of intimidation, threats and harassment by the police.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prof Ilochi Okafor, stated this on Tuesday while delivering an address during a special court session at the Anambra State Judiciary Complex to mark the commencement of the 2018/2019 Legal Year in the state.
Okafor, who spoke as a senior member of the Bar, condemned recent acts of intimidation on judicial officers in the state by the police.
He said, “Killings and physical assault are serious threats to the judiciary in the state. Most of our colleagues have passed through these several times in Anambra and we must not let this continue to happen.”
Okafor cited instances where a judge in the state was threatened “through a verifiable phone number”, yet the police did nothing about it.
He said the same judge was accosted while going home from work and was held hostage in his car.
He also cited the case of a magistrate who was bullied by a Divisional Police Officer after disobeying the magistrate’s order in a criminal matter.
The SAN said, “These acts of intimidation must stop. The judiciary cannot be cowed or intimidated. The bench and the Bar must fight this together because if we are caged, justice is caged.
“I am calling on the Honourable Chief Judge to immediately meet with other stakeholders and schedule a meeting with the Commissioner of Police and the governor to see a way out of this.”
The Chief Judge of the state, Justice Peter Umeadi, who presided over the special court session, said the judiciary in the state had made a lot of progress in the years past in all ramifications.
He commiserated with the families of 12 members of the judiciary who lost their lives within the past legal.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]