An Onitsha-based lawyer, Jacob Obasi, was on Saturday reportedly beaten to a coma by officers of the Anambra State Police Command.
The lawyer was rushed to a nearby hospital by passersby who rescued him from his assailants. It was gathered that the lawyer’s offence was his intervention in an attack on a citizen by the police in the area.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Onitsha branch, described the police’s action as unprofessional and barbaric.
In a statement by the Onitsha NBA chairman, Ozoemena Erinne, the lawyers said they had taken up the matter to ensure that all the policemen involved in the dastardly act would not go unpunished.
The statement reads in part, “the branch was reliably informed that the only offence committed by O.J. Obasi Esq, was, as a concerned citizen, attempting to intervene when he saw a citizen being pummeled by some policemen in uniform, at Osuma bus stop, Awka Road Onitsha, few meters away from his law firm”.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Haruna Mohammed, expressed disappointment over the incident.
He said, “the Commissioner of Police John Abang, is deeply worried about this disturbing development allegedly perpetrated by the policemen attached to the command.
“The CP has equally directed discreet investigation to ascertain the authenticity of the development and if true, perpetrators of such professional misconduct will be brought to book”.
The Onitsha NBA had in 2003, fought similar battle against the then governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, when it rumoured that he sponsored the gruesome murder of Barr. Barnabas Igwe, his wife and an unborn child. It was a fierce battle that forced the police to investigate the assassination but after all said and done, could not arrest the perpetrators, it however prevented further bloodshed in the city.