The Rivers State Command of the Nigerian Police Force has finally released three lawyers arrested on Friday night in their hotel in Port Harcourt while preparing an election petition for their client, the All Progressives Congress candidate in the March 18 governorship election, Tonye Cole.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that the three legal practitioners namely - Jerry Aondo, Dr Sobere Nelson and Odum Eyiba, who were legal team of the APC governorship candidate, were rounded up by the police in a plot by the Governor Nyesom Wike-led state government to frustrate their preparations for the tribunal on Monday.
It had been reported that condemnation and backlashes trailed the action of the police with human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) calling for the unconditional release of the lawyers and sanctions for the erring policemen.
Meanwhile, the NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau, confirmed that the three lawyers had been released, but their documents remained seized by the police command.
“I have just confirmed that the three lawyers and their support staff have just been released by the police. But the documents seized from them have not been released by the police,” he said.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) had earlier condemned the arrest, describing it as an affront to democracy and an invitation to anarchy.
“Situations where the instrumentality of the police is apparently being used to harass and intimidate lawyers, is a direct affront to the rule of law and a threat to our democracy.
“It is an invitation to anarchy and chaos, as people would rather resort to self-help than approach the civil and constitutional means provided for the resolution of disputes,” Maikyau had decried in a release.