Scores of security men including officials of the Department of State Security (DSS) and officers from the Lagos state police command invaded the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) office, Ikeja branch on Wednesday.
The siege followed a threat by the NBA to call out members on a protest tomorrow to coincide with President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Lagos.
The policemen numbering about 50 were armed with an invitation from Edgal Imohimi, commissioner of police.
The letter with Ref No. AR:3000/LS/XS/ADM.2/Vol.27/ is entitled, “Invitation Letter, Re: Case of Threat to Public Peace /Conduct Likely to Cause Breach of Peace”.
It reads: “This office is investigating the above-mentioned case reported through a petition to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Ikeja.
“In furtherance to my investigation, you are requested to report to the undersigned on the 28th of March, 2018 by 7.00 p.m. through O/C “X” Squad, who has been detailed by the Commissioner of Police to investigate the case. Your co-operation in this regard will be highly appreciated please.”
The policemen stormed the NBA office in more than 25 pickup vans.
According to the letter made available to NAN, the men of the Lagos state police command are investigating a petition to the effect that Adeshina Ogunlana, chairman of the branch, and members of the NBA, Ikeja branch, for conduct likely to cause a breach of public peace.
The policemen who were still at the NBA office as of 8.10pm, were insisting on arresting the NBA chairman, while a number of lawyers were also on ground ostensibly to resist his arrest.
Earlier, NBA had at a news conference announced a protest slated for Thursday, March 29 and that he was being “threatened” over his posture on the Lagos land use charge.
The NBA Chairman said that in spite of the reduction of the rates and levies under the land use charge the protest would go on as planned.
Ogunlana said: “The protest is far from being over as lawyers have declared their intention to embark on another round of streets protest tomorrow (March 29). The reduction is a sham and a calculated ploy to hoodwink the people of Lagos state.”
He also said the NBA objected to the house of assembly’s setting up of a committee to review the land use charge 2018.
“Come Thursday, March 29, the “Walk the Talk” protest must go on irrespective of the public holiday declared by the Lagos State Government in anticipation of the Presidential visit,” he said.