Nigerian Bar Association queries Bayelsa governor, Dickson, over attack on Court

Seriake Dickson

The Nigerian Bar Association has queried the Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, for leading thugs to attack a Federal Court in Yenagoa, the state capital.

The governor was caught on video, walking into the court premises, accompanied by his police guards and hangers on, before hooligans, including rifle-wielding police officers, invaded and attacked the court.

The video, published by PREMIUM TIMES Friday, sparked outrage with many Nigerians demanding an independent investigation into the attack.

Mr. Dickson, a lawyer, is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, and a onetime attorney general of Bayelsa State. He is also a former member of the House of Representatives.

The NBA president, Augustine Alegeh, told PREMIUM TIMES the association of lawyers in Nigeria had sent a letter to the governor, asking him to explain his actions in the court.

Mr. Alegeh explained that the NBA needed to hear the governor’s side of the story before deciding whether or not, disciplinary measures would be meted against him.

He said the association will also hear from the lawyers who were in the court during the attack.

“We have sent a letter, a notice of information and a link of the video to him, asking for his own side of the story,” Mr. Alegeh said.” Once we hear from every party involved, we would take action and make available our next line of action.”

Mr. Alegeh described the court as a sacred place, stating that anyone who attacks the court also attacks the whole essence of rule of law and the judiciary system.

The governor’s spokesperson, Daniel Iworiso, had earlier refuted the contents of the video, claiming the video published by PREMIUM TIMES was “photoshopped”.

But Mr. Alegeh said he had received reports from the Federal High Court about the incident, and had also watched the video.

Police still investigating

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State police command has said it was investigating the attack.

Asinim Butswat, the state police spokesperson, said the police have been investigating the attack soon after it happened.

He added that whenever the investigations are concluded and the perpetrators are found they will be prosecuted.

“I cannot tell when exactly the investigation will end or how long it will take before we pass our judgement,” he said. “All I can say now is investigations have started.”

When asked what the police would do about the governor’s involvement, he simply replied: “We are still investigating.”

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