By Joe Ebi, Benin
The Benin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), on Tuesday, October 27, refuted reports making the rounds that its rejected Edo State government setting up Mobile Court to try suspected looters and arsonists within the premises of the state Police Command.
The Benin branch of the NBA Chairman, Pius Oiwoh, Esq., had, in a telephone interview with newsmen yesterday, rejected the state government plan to set up Mobile Court to try suspected looters and arsonists within the premises of the state Police Command, stressing that using such venue would compel those in charge of the Mobile Court to carry out their orders.
Oiwoh, however, in a refutal statement said after consultation with relevant stakeholders particularly security agencies, security concerns were raised hence it becomes impracticable for the suspects to be taken to the Magistrate Court premises particularly having regards to their number.
He emphasised that after consultation with the relevant authorities, it becomes imperative the new position is made known to the public.
“My interview yesterday on the attitude or position of the Bar on the setting up of a Mobile Court at the Edo State Police Headquarters was with mixed feelings. Further engagements with the relevant stakeholders: the Edo State Judiciary, the Police, DSS and other security agencies in the State, security concerns were raised which makes it impracticable for the suspects to be taken to the Magistrate Court premises particularly having regards to their number,” he added.
The NBA Chairman assured that the suspected looters will received fair trial and justice, just as he disclosed that the Benin branch has directed its Public Defenders Committee to offer free legal service to that effect.
“The Benin Bar in rising up to the occasion, and upon the exigencies of the moment has directed its Bar Public Defenders Committee headed by Matthew Edaghese Esq. to offer free legal service to the suspects and to ensure a fair trial as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended,” he said.