The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has issued a strong condemnation against the Department of State Services (DSS), the country’s secret police, following a troubling clash that occurred at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday. The incident involved DSS operatives and officers of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) and revolved around the custody of the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, who was granted bail by the court.
Despite the court’s order for Emefiele to be held in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service, the DSS took it upon themselves to rearrest him, leading to a heated confrontation between officials of both agencies. During the altercation, a senior-ranking prison official was assaulted, adding to the severity of the situation.
The Nigerian Bar Association expressed its strong disapproval of the DSS’s actions, describing their conduct as “despicable” and a blatant disregard for the judicial process and the sanctity of the court premises. The court had already ordered that Emefiele be kept in a Correctional Centre until his bail conditions were met, making the DSS’s actions even more concerning.
NBA President Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau (SAN) emphasized that incidents like this undermine the rule of law and erode public confidence in the justice system. He called for immediate disciplinary action against the officers involved and stressed the need for a comprehensive overhaul and reorientation of key security institutions in Nigeria. This, he believes, will instill professionalism and ensure the effective discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.
Mr. Maikyau underscored the importance of the DSS and the NCS working together to achieve justice and security in Nigeria, urging them to collaborate and respect court orders. The NBA’s firm stance highlights the critical need to uphold the rule of law and maintain security within the nation.