Osogbo branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, on Wednesday threatened a showdown with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for infringing on the fundamental rights of its Member, Temitope Oyedipe, who was arrested at Ile-Ife High Court premises.
The NBA, in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Dawood Ajetunmobi, disclosed that Oyedipe was arrested after holding brief of another lawyer in a garnishee proceeding before a Court in the town and was whisked away to Lagos State.
The statement added that the NBA learnt that the EFCC was interested in the matter, hence, it whisked the lawyer away after the proceedings.
It reads, “Immediately the news filtered to the Human Rights Committee of the NBA, Osogbo Branch, it was deliberated and a counsel, Comrade Nurudeen Kareem, has been assigned to proceed to the Commission’s office in Lagos today. The Chairman of the Branch, Hassan Agbelekale, Esq. has also contacted the Lagos and Ikeja Branches of the NBA for possible synergies to ensure the counsel is timely released.
“When the Committee inquired from the EFCC operatives via a telephone call, it was confirmed that Mr. Oyedipe was indeed arrested ‘when he could not give satisfactory information about the suit in which he appeared’, though he held a counsel’s brief.‘’
“The said substantive counsel and his client in the garnishee proceeding were said to be the targets of the operatives, but the duo were not present in court, and Mr Oyedipe held the lawyer’s brief as agreed between them. So far, the counsel Mr. Temitope Oyedipe is still in the office of the EFCC, Ikoyi Lagos. The Branch has put every mechanism in motion to ensure his release as soon as practicable.
“While consultations are ongoing with the leaders of the Association in Nigeria with a view to taking a collective but deterring decision on this condemnable act, the Branch calls on the EFCC to immediately release Mr. Temitope Oyedipe unconditionally.”