Tony Okafor, Awka
An Onitsha-based lawyer, Jacob Obasi, was on Saturday reportedly beaten into a coma by officers of the Anambra State Police Command.
The lawyer was rushed to a nearby hospital by passersby who rescued him from the policemen.
It was gathered that the lawyer’s offence was his intervention in an attack on a citizen by the Police in the area.
The Nigerian Bar Association, Onitsha branch, had described the action of the policemen as “unprofessional and barbaric.”
In a statement by the Onitsha NBA chairman, Ozoemena Erinne, the lawyers said they had taken up the matter to ensure that the officers involved do not go unpunished.
The statement reads in part, “The Branch was reliably informed that the only offence committed by O.J. Obasi Esq, was, as a concerned citizen, attempting to intervene when he sighted a citizen being pummeled by some Police officers in uniform, at Osuma Bus stop, Awka Road, a few meters from his law firm.
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“The intervention to stop the beating up and brutalisation of a fellow Nigerian obviously irked the overzealous policemen who mercilessly pounced on him, and viciously attacked him, including hitting him with the butt of their gun.
“He is currently undergoing treatment at the General Hospital, Onitsha, for aggravated bodily injuries sustained in the process.
“In view of the above, the premier bar has vowed to urgently take up this matter, and, indeed, had taken some immediate steps, to serve as a deterrent to other Police officers and men, and as well serve the purpose of formal justice.
In his reaction, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Mohammed, expressed disappointment over the incident.
He said, “The Commissioner of Police John Abang, is deeply worried about this disturbing development allegedly perpetrated by the police attached to this Command.
” The CP equally directed with immediate effect discreet investigation to ascertain the authenticity of the development and if true bring perpetrators of this professional misconduct to book.”