“Failure to do this can only mean that the Lagos State Police Command is shielding the perpetrator of this assault – thereby giving tacit endorsement to illegality”NBA-SARC

Assault on Mr Timothy Olamide by a Policeman Within the Premises of the Lagos State Police Headquarters

As promised in my earlier statement on this matter, on Thursday, 7 March 2024, Mr Ziacham Bayei, a member of the Nigerian Bar Association Security Agencies Relations Committee (NBA-SARC), accompanied our colleague, Mr Timothy Olamide, to the Lagos State Police Headquarters, Ikeja for the scheduled Identification Parade to identify the Police officer who had assaulted Mr Timothy Olamide at the headquarters the previous day.

Before the commencement of the identification exercise, a Police officer to whom Mr Olamide had reported the incident when it happened corroborated Mr Olamide’s statement and even admitted witnessing the assault. There is, therefore, no controversy as to whether Mr. Olamide was assaulted and by whom.

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Unfortunately, upon completion of the identification exercise and at the time of issuing this report, the policeman who assaulted Mr Olamide remains unknown.

The NBA-SARC is deeply concerned that the Police would require an identification parade to identify a policeman who assaulted a lawyer within the premises of the Lagos State Police Headquarters. The NBA-SARC is saddened and disappointed that the identification parade, announced with glee on X (formerly Twitter) by the Lagos State Police PRO, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, failed to unveil the perpetrator of the assault. It would also appear, with hindsight, that the narrative that the errant officer was a member of a team of policemen from Anambra and Imo who had come to Lagos to take custody of a suspect was a ploy to shift focus from the perpetrator who, from all indicators, is an officer of the Lagos State Police Command.

The NBA-SARC calls upon the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to immediately make known the identity of the police officer who assaulted Mr Timothy Olamide. Failure to do this can only mean that the Lagos State Police Command is shielding the perpetrator of this assault – thereby giving tacit endorsement to illegality. One of the primary functions of the Lagos State Police Command is to investigate crimes in Lagos State. If the Command cannot investigate and identify the culprit in a case of assault committed within its premises, how can the public trust the Command to investigate crimes committed in the state?

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We want to state clearly and for the avoidance of doubt that this matter will not be swept under the carpet. The NBA-SARC will do all that is necessary to ensure that the policeman who assaulted Mr Olamide while he was discharging his professional duties to his client is held accountable.

The message is clear: lawyers will no longer accept any form of police brutality against them or any citizen, for that matter. Those days are over.

Mr. Chukwuka Ikwuazom SAN,
Chairman, NBA-SARC