Operatives of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested three lawyers filing cases for the All Progressives Congress at the Rivers State Elections Petitions Tribunal.
According to available information, the lawyers were identified as Jerry Aondo, Dr. Sobere Nelson and Odum Eyiba.
They were said to have been arrested in their hotels and their documents and laptops were taken away.
Although the lawyers were released after a few hours, their documents and laptops had not been released.
The Nigerian Bar Association has kicked against the arrest of the lawyers.
In a statement by its President, Yakubu Maikyau, on Saturday, the NBA said: “I read the rather unfortunate and disturbing news of the arrest of three (3) of our colleagues, Jerry Aondo, Esq, Dr Sobere Nelson, and Odum Eyiba, Esq, in Rivers State.
“It was reported that the trio, who all practice in Mr Tuduru Ede, SAN’s law firm in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, were working on a petition for the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the declaration by INEC in the just concluded gubernatorial election in the state and were arrested while preparing the petition in a Hotel where they secured rooms and lodged for the purpose of the assignment.
“I have spoken with Mr Tuduru Ede, SAN and he confirmed the incident. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) strongly condemns such unwarranted harassment of lawyers in the lawful performance of their professional duties to their clients.
“Situations, where the instrumentality of the police is apparently being used to harass and intimidate lawyers, is a direct affront to the rule of law and a threat to our democracy; it is an invitation to anarchy and chaos, as people would rather resort to self-help than approach the civil and constitutional means provided for the resolution of disputes.
“I reached out to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Commissioner of Police (CP) Rivers State, and I have been assured of the release of our colleagues.
“We shall also take up the matter to ensure that any person(s) including police officers, who may be found complicit in the events leading to the arrest of our colleagues, is sanctioned for any possible abuse of office.”