• en

Charge and Bail Tweet: Lawyers Warn DSS against Denigrating Legal Profession

One of the lawyer Ahmed Tijani said “DSS has turned itself into an arm of the ruling party.”

Nigerian lawyers have warned the Department of State Service (DSS) against denigrating the legal profession, as that would not augur well for the country, including members of the service who may likely need the services of a lawyer in the future.

The warning came on the heels of a tweet by the DSS through its Twitter handle wherein it had described one of the lawyers rooting for the release of suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, as “charge and bail lawyer”.

Reacting however, the consortium of lawyers who had approached the court in Abuja, to commence committal proceedings against the Director General of the secret service, for still holding Emefiele in its custody against the orders of court, said the statement by the DSS was not only disparaging, but a confirmation of the high-handedness of the agency.

Speaking at a press conference to address the issue, one of the lawyers, Mr. Ahmed Tijani, lamented that the DSS by the tweet, “disparaged our person and disparaged the legal profession in Nigeria.”

“They referred to us as charge and bail lawyers, that is denigrating, they referred to us lawyers, solicitors of the Supreme Court of Nigeria as charge and bail lawyers.

“Let me remind the SSS of the importance of lawyers, where are the likes of Magu, who turned back lawyers? Where is Kyari today? These are people who have no regard for lawyers? Where is Bawa today? Today who are representing them, it is lawyers, not market women.

“I want to remind the DG that the seat he is sitting on today is not his father’s seat, he should take a cue of what happened to Bawa, the fall of a dried leaf is a warning to the fresh one. If he is not there tomorrow, he will look for lawyers to represent him.”

While reiterating that the secret service has no regard for the rule of law, Tijani claimed that the, “DSS has turned itself into an arm of the ruling party,” warning that the same unpopular way that they operated under a former administration is same way they are going, which is not in the interest of Nigerians and the country at large, adding that the DSS and its Director General, must adhere to the Rule of Law in the discharge of their duties.

Tijani, accused the organization of threatening to frame them up for terrorism by referring to them as Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) lawyers.

The DSS had tweeted on Tuesday, “Charge and bail, overzealous uninformed IPOB/ESN lawyer Maxwell Okpara mobilises other likeminded lawyers against DGSS. Futile Efforts. Well, Nigerians, beware! This is in bad faith. Transferred aggression.

A Biafran Republic agitator and outlawed IPOB counsel defending the suspended CBN governor. Is IPOB defending one of theirs???? What a contradiction…..hmmm…what’s the connection? May Maxwell be properly educated on points of law, please.”

The lawyers claimed that the tweet had now gone viral stating, “at about 6AM when we met this morning, the tweet was still there on the handle of the SSS. This was about 17 hours after it had been posted and had really gone. At that time, it had been seen by about 2 million people globally, generated over 3600 comments, retweeted almost 5000 times and liked more than 2500 times.

“The tweets which have been greeted by national outrage and condemnation are still in the handle of the security agency.”

Furthermore, the lawyers while expressing shock over the tweets listed several cases of disobedience to court order against Mr. Bichi involving Igbo people and asserted that Bichi must have been suffering from what they termed Igbophobia.

“In the same vein, the tweet by the SSS has also exposed very clearly to the world that the persecution Mr. Godwin Emefiele suffers today is largely due to the ethnic profiling as directed by the DG SSS.

“The fact that Mr. Emefiele is Igbo and attained the height of CBN Governor to Mr. Bichi is an abomination hence his resolve to see that Emefiele is pulled down because to him, all Igbo are IPOB/ESN Terrorists” the group said.

Tijani also said it was clear that Bichi has declared war on lawyers and Igbo people and that the persecution being suffered by Emefiele was largely due to ethnic and political reasons asserting that it could not be a coincidence that several cases involving Igbo people were being serially disobeyed by the DG DSS.

The lawyers thereafter called for Bichi’s sack from office for what they termed manifesting open hatred against an ethnic group. They also alleged that the attitude of the DG DSS would tarnish the image of President Bola Tinubu.

Finally, the lawyers resolved to write to the UN, EU, UK and US governments, The President, CJN, NSA and also approach the court for the enforcement of their rights.

Meanwhile, Mr. Maxwell Okpara has called on Nigerians to hold the DSS and its DG responsible should anything happen to him.

Alex Enumah

Follow us on: