Nigeria: Statement of Nigerian Bar Association on Reported Assault of lawyer at DSS Office

The Nigerian Bar Association Security Agencies Relations Committee (NBA-SARC) is deeply concerned about the recent report by a lawyer alleging that he was subjected to assault and false imprisonment by officers and men of the Department of State Services (DSS) while on a visit to the DSS office with a client.

Such an allegation, if verified, would constitute a grave violation of the fundamental rights of legal practitioners. It will also add to the emerging and disturbing trend of attempts by certain law enforcement agencies to intimidate lawyers who are engaged in the lawful performance of their duties. This does not bode well for the rule of law and access to justice.

The NBA-SARC is currently investigating the matter and is in communication with the Director of Legal of the DSS, who has requested time to conduct their internal investigation. The Committee has also reached out to the legal practitioner in question to confirm the reports and obtain the facts directly from him. Our objective is to ensure a fair and thorough examination of the incident.

If these reports are substantiated, such actions would represent a serious assault on the legal profession and an infringement of lawyers’ rights to freely practice their trade. Every lawyer has the right to represent their client without fear of harassment or intimidation.

It is imperative that the officers allegedly involved in the incident are identified, properly investigated (their own rights duly warranted) and if found culpable, held accountable to the full extent of the law. To promote transparency and accountability, the findings of this investigation will be made public, after which appropriate action will be taken.



Nigeria: Statement of Nigerian Bar Association on Reported Assault of lawyer at DSS Office