Petitioner Slaps Lawyer In The Presence Of Police Officers, Goes Scotfree Despite Complaints.

By Dedeigbo Ayodeji Samson


A Nigerian slogan says the Police is your friend and Nigerians wonder if that is true when what they do most times is to embarrass,intimidate and oppress the citizens.

Earlier in the year ,a lawyer who is also an activist was unlawfully detained. Kudos to the new CP who saw to it that justice was served to the DPO involved.

There was a protest march by the Nigerian Bar Association over the issue of police brutality towards lawyers .

It is unfortunate that the police do not have a good relationship with the profession that is supposed to be their closest friend in the case of friendship as they say.

On March 4th, 2024, Barrister Olumide Sonupe went to the police station at Ajah to represent his client and upon getting there he met with the petitioner, upon hearing what happened, he saw that it was a civil matter and explained to the police officer that the case was a purely civil matter, the petitioner ordered an inverter from Barr Sonupe’s client with solar panel and batteries which was worth 11.5 million Naira and everything had been delivered fixed He had instructed the petitioner not to let anybody else touch the equipments if there was an issue with the solar system.

The petitioner should call the company directly since the solar system had warranty on it. But the petitioner acted otherwise and as requested by the police since the petitioner reported the case at the police station , Barr Sonupe’s client called the supplying company and they agreed that all the equipment be brought for examination .

Barrister Sonupe further revealed to us in a voice note that he tried to explain to the police officer who incidentally was the DCO at the police station (Officer Femi ) that he should understand that the issue of chain of custody is a problem apart from the fact that the matter is a purely civil matter and the police had no jurisdiction.

Barr Sonupe explained that his client was ready to indulge the petitioner since the supplying company said they should bring everything, examine and fix whatever needs to be fixed but the chain of custody had changed and a new engineer had tampered with the system so the petitioner’s engineer should take it to the supplier and his client will meet them at the supplier’s office to examine it and decided if they are going to refund or repair to make it durable for the petitioner.

According to Barr Sonupe who said that he is seriously disappointed in the Nigeria Police force and the system, the DCO insulted his person by telling him not to speak and that he doesn’t recognize the lawyer’s presence.

The petitioner and his friends started calling the lawyer all manner of names and right inside the police station and in front of the DCO ,Barr Sonupe was slapped and Barr Sonupe expected a reprimand and none came from the DCO, he complained and according to him the DCO just shrugged .He decided to take his client to the DPOs office and his client was also assaulted by the petitioner stating that he stole 11.5 million Naira he wanted to run away, to the surprise of Barr Sonupe and his client ,the police officers refused to reprimand the petitioner again, with my money and according to the lawyer, the DCO just shrugged again saying that Barr Sonupe wanted to abscond with his client whom they kept describing as a suspect.

The officers then threatened to arrest Barr Sonupe but the DCO stopped the arrest as Barr Sonupe reminded them that he was a lawyer and they wouldn’t dare arrest a lawyer.

Barrister Sonupe decided to go to the gate where their phones had been dropped before going into the police station but to his surprise the DCO followed him and collected all their phones which were wrapped with a tape and they were given a tag number 100 .

They entered the station at around 11am and left around 6pm, every plea to get their phones back fell on deaf ears, the phone remained in the police custody.

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