Police, DSS beseige NBA Ikeja secretariat over Land Use Charge protest

Security operatives, including officials of the Department of State Security (DSS) led by the DCP Operations, Lagos State Police Command, Mr A. Mohammed, have besieged the Ikeja branch secretariat of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

The siege followed a threat by the NBA led by its Chairman, Mr Adesina Ogunlana 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 the Commissioner of Police, Mr Edgal Imohimi, for the NBA boss.

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 came in more than 25 pick up vans.

According to the letter, the men of the Lagos State Police Command were investigating a petition to the effect that conduct of Ogunlana and members of the Ikeja branch of the NBA was likely to cause a breach of public peace.

The policemen who are still at the NBA office as at 8.10 p.m., 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.” (NAN)

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