The Nigeria Bar Association Ikeja Branch and the Lagos police command are at logger-head over plan protest the Nigeria Bar Association is projecting today as result of state government land use charge rate as men of its command yesterday laid siege to the premises of the state chapter of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), to arrest the chairman, Mr Adeshina Ogunlana.
But In a swift reaction, the police spokesman, Sp Chike Oti, told urban Express News-online that NBA boss was being invited to know the specific location the protest would cover as preparation to receive president Mohammadu Buhari was in top gear as the president is bill to visit lagos state taday. A reliable source told urban express news-online that there is a large concentration of policemen led by DCP Operation at the premises of the Nigeria Bar Association NBA Ikeja Chapter office last night
The NBA boss and his members were holed up in the office, with the police waiting anxiously for them to emerge from a meeting to arrest the chairman. The police had earlier in a letter to the NBA chairman inviting him for a chat yesterday, said it was investigating a petition to the effect that the conduct of the NBA chairman and his members would cause a breach of public peace.
“You are requested to report to the undersigned on the 28th of March, 2018 by 1900 hours through O.C X squad, who had been detailed by the Commissioner of Police to investigate the case,” the letter said. The police said the failure of the NBA chairman to honour the invitation explained the reason policemen were deployed to the premises to quiz him.
In a statement released to urban express news online, He said: “We will arrest anyone who comes out tomorrow (today) to stage a protest and charge him with very severe offences.
“In addition, it has come to the command‘s notice that NBA Ikeja branch is being used by disgruntled politicians in Lagos. “The issue of Land Use Charge has been addressed by the NBA; they were with me, they registered for police back-up in an earlier planned protest. ‘’Since it is their fundamental right to stage a peaceful protest, I provided them policemen and they did their protest peacefully.
For them to now issue another press release to say that they are taking the protest to the President, who has nothing to do with the Land Use Charge shows they are being used.
‘’It is also curious that of all the NBA branches in Lagos, it is only the Ikeja branch that has been using the option of protest and civil disobedience, despite several options available. For the avoidance of doubt, the Lagos State Police Command will not tolerate any protest from the NBA or any group of individuals during the visit of the President.
‘’The NBA or any group seeking to protest at this time is warned to jettison the idea or face dire consequences which may include arrest and prosecution of participants.’’ But the NBA vowed yesterday that it would resist every attempt by the police to arrest its leader, wondering why the police would seek to arrest its leader when the constitution gives members the right of protest”.
The NBA chairman had earlier at a press conference announced the decision of the association to continue its protest against the Land Use Charge of the state government today.