There was mild drama on Monday morning as security officials locked the gate of the National Assembly and refused to allow members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to gain entrance. The lawyers are on a peaceful march in solidarity with judiciary workers who are protesting financial autonomy.
They had earlier converged at the Court of Appeal gate before proceeding to the National Assembly in their numbers, to register their demands. Security officials upon sighting the lawyers in their vehicles locked up the two gates to National Assembly. “People like you can’t just be in the National Assembly…” one of the security officers told the lawyers.
The NBA President had earlier on Friday directed its branch chairmen nationwide to lead “visits” to government houses in their states over the 36 governors’ alleged unwillingness to implement judiciary’s financial autonomy. A statement by the president of the association, Olumide Akpata, directed the branch chairmen to lead the “visits”, which are more like peaceful protests, on Monday, and on all other subsequent Mondays until the demand for the judiciary’s financial autonomy is met.
It urged the branch leaders “to effectively mobilise their members” for the “visit to the governors at the state government houses” to press home the demand.