Sanction policemen who invaded my court, disrupted proceedings – Judge tells NBA

…says the sanction would curtail excesses of some trigger-happy policemen

An Otuocha High Court 2, Anambra State has ordered Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in the area and Oniitsha to sanction a 5-man Police team from ’33’ Police Station, Nkwelle-Ezunaka, Oyi Local Government Area over alleged invasion of his court and disrupting proceedings in a bid to arrest a defendant, Mr. Ojukwu Samuel.

The Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice R.O. Onunkwo said the sanction would curtail excesses of some trigger-happy policemen and serve as deterrent to future offenders.

Reacting to the invasion, an eye witness who identified himself as Barr. B. C. Udemezue, said that, “The drama started the moment Hon. Justice Onunkwo of High Court No. 2, finished proceedings in the criminal case involving the victim wherein it was reported to the judge that the complainant was repeatedly harassing and attacking Ojukwu.

“The defendant said that the complainant has mastered the act of always using the police to arrest and rearrest him over the same dispute which borders principally on land issue.

“The judge threatened to remand the complainant when he could not give a reasonable explanation for incessantly arresting the defendant but later made an order that nobody should arrest the defendant again in the matter between him and the complainant until the court concludes the trial.

“Just few minutes after the court adjourned the case, the same complainant stepped out and called some policemen he came to court with and they moved to arrest the defendant.

“The resistance put up by the defendant attracted attention, and lawyers urged the police to obey the court order just made but they refused. The judge himself sent his own orderly to call the team leader but the team leader refused to answer the judge. When some lawyers confronted the police, they threatened to shoot them, two of the policemen cocked their rifles.

“It took the doggedness of the court security man, to wrestle the defendant from their hand and the defendant ran into the court with one handcuffed hand. This forced both the Administrative Judge. Hon. Justice H. O. Ozoh and Hon Justice Onunkwo to rise abruptly.

“The visibly angry Judge, while feeling the raid was a slight on the court and his person, ordered NBA leadership to ensure the unfortunate incident was not swept under the carpet.”

Another witness, Chief Edugo John Nwabudu who claimed he was among those that separated the fight, alleging that the fully armed policemen were planted outside the court.

He said, “I don’t know police do arrest people in court. The policemen were planted outside the court fully armed and they parked their vehicle in front of the court .

“They tried to force Ojukwu inside their vehicle but he resisted them and was shouting that he didn’t commit any offence which attracted litigants, lawyers and the two courts’ judges rose abruptly. Justice Onunkwo made straight to his chamber and phoned the Commissioner of Police on what was happening. 

“The policemen wanted to shoot the lawyers that joined to resist the arrest of Ojukwu, who is the chairman of Egwuatu Estate, because the case is about land. Imagine police involving themselves in land matter.

“Before this bid to arrest Ojukwu in court, police from zone 13 went to the said estate and destroyed charms in a house used as torture camp where illegal security operatives employed by the complainant were stationed, they sacked the owner of the house,” he explained further.

Reacting, the owner of the house said, they sacked  and took possession of his house for all manners of illegalities even as chairman of the chairman of Christ the King Amalgamated estate, Mr. Kingsley, said the vigilante operatives were illegal.

Police spokesperson, Tochukwu Ikenga said the suspect is allegedly an ex-convict who just came back from prison, and a case of arson was reported against him.

He also said the Police never arrested the defendant inside the court but outside the court premises.

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