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CSOs caution police, others against blockage of court during trials

By Matthew Ogune (Abuja) and Eniola Daniel (Lagos)
23 October 2021   |   3:04 am
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Department of State Services (DSS) and the Attorney General of the Federation

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Department of State Services (DSS) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to direct officers to desist from further “desecrating or blocking access to our courts anytime high profile cases come up for trial.”

Convener of Concerned Nigerians group, Deji Adeyanju, in a letter addressed to the IGP, DSS and the AGF, said the development was observed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on October 21, 2021 when Nnamdi Kanu’s case came up for trial.

The letter reads: “We write, with great sadness, to draw your attention to the reoccurring and unlawful blockage of the Federal High Court, Abuja, by security agencies, particularly officers from the State Security Services.

“You may note that section 36 (3) and (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, clearly provides that the court room shall be accessible to members of the public.”

“However, contrary to the aforementioned provisions, your officers have developed the habit of blocking all access to the court courtroom, during trial of ‘high profile’ cases, thereby denying members of the public, including lawyers and litigants, access to the court room.

“Kindly be reminded that despite the deteriorating state of our constitutional democracy, we are still under a civilian rule where the constitution reigns supreme over all persons and institutions. It is on the basis of the foregoing that we send you this timely reminder, urging you to direct your officers to desist from further desecrating or blocking access to our courts, which remain one of the symbols of our democracy.”

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