PRESS STATEMENT SIEGE ON NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The Nigerian Bar Association has followed with deep concern the events of early this morning, Tuesday 7th August, 2018, widely reported in various print and electronic media that the premises of the National Assembly was sealed by Nigerian security forces. According to media reports reaching us, members of the National Assembly, including Senators and Members of the House of Representatives as well as staff and various personnel working within the National Assembly Complex were prevented from entering the complex by armed masked men suspected to be operatives of the Department of State Security.
The Nigerian Bar Association condemns this brazen and blatant act of the security personnel and demands the immediate withdrawal of these personnel. This action is unconstitutional and poses a grave threat to our democracy. We call on the Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, to immediately call the security forces to order.
The Nigerian Bar Association condemns in the strongest terms the attempts by the government or indeed any faction of the political class to drag the Nigerian Security Forces into their ongoing political bickering and maneuvers totally unrelated to their responsibilities of governance for which they were elected. We call on the Military, the Nigerian Police and Department of State Security and all other security agencies not to engage in any unconstitutional operations or allow themselves to be dragged into partisan political activities directly or indirectly. We want to remind the heads of these Security Agencies that there is sufficient framework under domestic and international law to hold them accountable for illegal and unconstitutional operational use of security personnel. The Nigerian Bar Association will continue to monitor the current situation and will not hesitate to take further and more drastic action in Defense of Nigerian democracy should this call remain unheeded.
7th DAY OF AUGUST 2018.
ABUBAKAR BALARABE MAHMOUD OON, SAN, FCIARB
PRESIDENT NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION