‘Thugs’ beat up NBA chairman in Rivers

Suspected thugs on Wednesday reportedly beat up Sylvester Adaka, chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and other lawyers at the court of appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

Adaka and the other lawyers had stormed the court to disrupt proceedings when the suspected thugs swooped on them.

They had arrived to enforce the order of the NBA, calling on lawyers to boycott court sittings to protest the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria.

But suspected thugs and litigants reportedly beat them up and subsequently chased them out of the court room.

“While we were there in court, a couple of thugs in the court premises attacked the lawyers there, the thugs zeroed in on me and a couple of lawyers,” Adaka told journalists.

“If not for the intervention of my colleagues around, I don’t know what would have happened.

“The court was sitting and continued sitting even after the attack on us and we felt that in an atmosphere that was charged like that, the court should have at least reasoned to allow tempers cool.”

A.A. Gumel, one of the appeal court judges, condemned the invasion by the lawyers.

“This is incivility. We will not be intimidated. We will do our work. We are here to do a solemn job and we will give justice,” he was quoted as saying.

“The bar is entitled to respect the bench and the bench should carry the bar along. If the ethical behaviours handed to us by our fathers are maintained, we will make headway.

“It is about all the courts and administration of justice and not just the Appeal Court in Rivers State.”