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Call your men to order from unlawful acts, lawyers tell IGP

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Abuja based legal practitioners under the aegis of Lawyers of Conscience, have called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to call his men to order from their incessant harassment and intimidation of an Abuja based human rights activist and lawyer, Barrister Victor Giwa.

The lawyers also called on the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, to wade into the matter by calling the IGP to refrain from further harassment of the lawyer.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday on behalf of the group, Barrister Maxwell Opara, threatened to sue the IGP in his personal capacity as Kayode Egbetokun, if he fails to stop his men intimidating their colleague with unlawful arrest.

Narrating how the issue started, Opara said a staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), one Mrs Asabe Waziri, bought a multi million naira property in the Maitama district of Abuja which led to series of litigations.

According to the lawyer, Mrs Waziri who was aggrieved over some decisions of Court in respect of the disputed property, allegedly resorted to instigating the police to carry out unlawful acts of getting lawyers to opposing side arrested and detained.

In spite of cases pending before courts of competent jurisdictions, Opara said that Giwa had been threatened with arrest and detention simply for acting for his own client in the matters against Mrs Waziri Asabe.

The purchase of the multi million naira property by Mrs Waziri was said to have attracted several court cases before the FCT High Court, during which an order was issued for her eviction due to her alleged face-off with other property owners in the apartment as well as financial infraction in the purchase transaction.

Upon the eviction order of the court, she was evicted from the property and her part payment returned but was however, said to be bitter with the eviction carried out by bailiffs of the Abuja High Court.

Although, she was said to have challenged her eviction in court and the suit still pending, Opara accused Mrs Waziri of resorting to self help with the unlawful use of police to achieve what she could not achieve in the open court.

Opara specifically said the police have no business dabbling into a pure civil transaction of property purchase and with threat to arrest a lawyer carrying out his client’s instruction.

The lawyer added that the police as a law abiding institution should allow the matter to be fully determined by the court instead of acting as a court of its own.

He insisted it was wrong of Mrs Waziri to use the police to harrass Victor Giwa, who is counsel to the property developer, Abbey Signatures Ltd.

Opara therefore warned the IGP and his officers to stop taking laws into their hands with unlawful and illegal support for Mrs Waziri to intimidate and harrass a practicing lawyer, Victor Giwa.

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