The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has decried the despicable altercation which took place yesterday, 25/7/2023, at the premises of the Federal High Court, Lagos, between operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and officers of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) over the custody of the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele pending the perfection of his bail conditions.

According to a statement released by the National Publicity Secretary, Akorede Habeeb Lawal, the NBA has further condemned the brazen disrespect for the judicial process and sanctity of the court premises. The NBA has particularly denounced the DSS for its peculiar part in the disgraceful and unlawful conduct, considering the fact that the Court had earlier ordered that the suspended CBN Government be kept in a Correctional Centre pending the perfection of his bail conditions. According to the NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN “the courts and judicial processes remain the barometer by which the conduct of persons or agencies of government are gauged in assessing the rule of law.”

The NBA President has also described the incident as “further evidence of the lack of discipline and absence of professionalism that continues to plague key security institutions in Nigeria, which, without doubt, is largely responsible for the limited progress in achieving a coordinated response to security concerns across the country.”

His words: “A situation where officers of Federal Government agencies engage in a fight as witnessed by the public, for whatever reason, is antithetical to our security as a nation and creates a recipe for anarchy and chaos. Both the DSS and the NCoS are important institutions dealing with national security and administration of justice respectively, and the need for them to work in concert towards attaining justice in a secured Nigeria cannot be overemphasised.”

While it is difficult not to hold the leadership of the two federal government agencies directly responsible for the shameful and disgraceful conduct of the personnel, the NBA President has particularly called on the two agencies “to take immediate disciplinary measures against the officers involved in this disgraceful conduct.” In addition to this disciplinary measure, Mr. Maikyau also advised “a complete overhaul of the institutions and a total reorientation of the personnel, to achieve professionalism and ensure synergy in the discharge of their respective constitutional responsibilities.”

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) remains committed to the promotion and protection of the principles of the rule of law and due process, within a safe and secured Nigeria.