Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has alleged that some top politicians in the country are deploying the police to arrest legal experts defending opposition parties in election tribunals.
This came after post-election agitations that resulted in the detention of a few opposition attorneys.
Three lawyers representing the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress in the electoral petition tribunal, Jerry Aondo, Sobere Nelson, and Odum Eyiba, were detained on Sunday, according to the Rivers State Police Command (APC).
Moreover, it stated that five APC support staff members were chosen in Port Harcourt, the state capital, to assist with the legal team challenging the results of the state’s governorship election on March 18, 2023.
However, a number of Nigerians, including the legal luminary, Femi Falana, had condemned the development, saying it lacked legal justification.
“The primary purpose of the latest display of naked power is to frustrate the opposition from filing an election petition against the rigging and violence that marred the March 18 governorship election in Rivers state”, the legal expert said.
SERAP in a tweet on its verified Twitter handle on Monday described the act as outright unconstitutional.
The organization insisted the latest plot was to deny aggrieved political parties access to justice.
“Some Nigerian politicians are apparently using the police to arrest election petition lawyers presumably to compromise the evidence of their political opponents. This is a flagrant violation of the Nigerian Constitution. Access to justice is a fundamental right”, the organization wrote.