The leadership of the Osogbo Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association on Wednesday threatened a showdown with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, whose operatives allegedly arrested a lawyer on court premises in the state.
The association, in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Dawood Ajetunmobi, alleged that its member, Temitope Oyedipe, was arrested on Tuesday on the premises of the Osun State High Court, Ile-Ife by some operatives of the EFCC from Lagos State.
The association said Oyedipe held a brief of another colleague of his in a garnishee proceeding that the EFFC was interested in.
It added that the counsel was arrested after proceedings and was whisked away by operatives of the anti-graft agency.
The statement read, “Immediately the news filtered to the Human Rights Committee of the NBA, Osogbo branch, it was deliberated and a counsel, Nurudeen Kareem, has been assigned to proceed to the commission’s office in Lagos.
“The chairman of the branch, Hassan Agbelekale, has also contacted the Lagos and Ikeja branches of the NBA for possible synergy 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 association said consultations had commenced with other NBA leaders nationwide, with a view to taking a collective decision on the development.
It demanded the immediate release of the lawyer.