Omobolanle Raheem: NBA Will Get To The Root of The Incident NBA President Assures, Pays Tribute To The Slain Lawyer

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The Nigerian Bar Association President, Mr Yakubu Maikayau, SAN, OON has reaffirmed his commitment in ensuring  that justice is done in the case of a Lagos-based lawyer, Mrs Omobolanle Raheem who was killed by a police officer on Christmas day.

According to Mr Yakubu, NBA will not only get to the root of the incident, but will uproot it and take steps to deal with anyone found culpable in every lawful way.

Read full statement below;

“Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend”
-William Shakespeare [Sonnet 60]

1. It gives me NO pleasure, to be standing here today to render this tribute to our learned friend – Mrs. Omobolanle Raheem. This is one of the hardest and most unpleasant assignments I have had to undertake as President of the NBA. Never did I expect that I would have to pay tribute to a colleague whose life was cut short by an officer of the law. I did not know Bolanle personally – I do not think we ever met, but our lack of acquaintance has not made her death any less painful for me.

2. It is rather unfortunate and regrettable that the right to life has become one of the most abused rights in Nigeria today. Daily we are confronted with the mindless killing of innocent citizens, on the one hand by the various non-state actors operating in different parts of the country – armed robbers, unknown gunmen, bandits, herdsmen, militants, etc., and then on the other hand, we have law enforcement agents, who have the sworn duty to protect lives and properties, contributing to the loss of countless lives. And so it happened that on 25 December 2022, Bolanle became one of the victims of extrajudicial killings by the police when, on her way back from church after the Christmas service, in the company of her husband, sister and child, she was shot by a trigger-happy police officer. She did not deserve to die in that manner – no one deserves to die like that!

3. Bolanle’s death is one death too many! She is just but one of the many Nigerians who have lost their lives at the hands of those who swore to protect them. While we commend our security agencies for their efforts in discharging their constitutional mandate within the very limited resources available to them, with many of them paying the supreme price in the course of their work, we cannot  afford to be silent over their excesses. We must take action to stop the occurrence of these very ugly and frightening incidents and it is my hope that Bolanle’s death will be the catalyst for the change
we need!

4. Omobolanle was a member of the Lagos Branch of the NBA until the time of her untimely death; she was one of us. But that is not the sole reason we have chosen to hold this event in her memory and in her honour. This ceremony is being held today because, Omobolanle, in her death, has become the enduring symbol of all innocent Nigerians who lost their lives at the hands of the police and other security agencies. Our tribute today is therefore not only to mourn our departed colleague and other citizens, but also to reaffirm our commitment to ensure that justice is done in their cases.

5. In the first statement issued by the Nigerian Bar Association on 26 December 2022 – the day after the incident, I stated, amongst other things, that: “The NBA will not only get to the root of this incident, we will uproot it and take steps to deal with anyone
found culpable in every lawful way. We will ensure that this does not happen to any citizen anymore.”

Download Full Tribute Here

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