A disagreement over parking spaces involving lawyers and operatives of the Directorate of Security Service (DSS) disrupted the sitting of magistrates’ court in Awka, Anambra State, on Friday.
The disagreement started when operatives of the DSS, who were on an emergency assignment, could not access the road passing through the court premises.
Angered by the development, the operatives were said to have sent for the owners of the vehicles and allegedly assaulted one of them.
Disturbed by the commotion outside the premises, the courts promptly adjourned sitting ‘for security reasons.’
An eyewitness told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the security operatives, who drove in a green Peugeot vehicle, were provoked by the manner vehicles were parked by the lawyers.
“The courts were in session when we started hearing people shouting outside; we rushed out and saw a lawyer being manhandled.
“The situation attracted the attention of other lawyers present in court, who rushed out and rallied round to rescue their colleague,” a source said.
According to the source, the DSS operatives also reinforced with two armed officials who threatened to deal with anyone that came close.
“The tyres of some of the vehicles were deflated, a situation that only worsened the confusion,” the source said.
Narrating his ordeal, one Ndukwe, a lawyer, said he was called out by a policewoman to come and remove his car, which she claimed had blocked the road.
“But as I opened the door of my car, two people started assaulting me; one used a machete while the other, who held a gun, used his hands to drag me.
“The mere parking of vehicles on a normal busy arena shouldn’t have warranted this type of assault,” Ndukwe fumed.
Although, the matter had been reported to the police, Ndukwe said that he was not satisfied with the way the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Hassan Karma, handled the case.
“The matter should be documented, the police should carry out their investigations and charge the matter to court,” he said.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Uche Ezeh, said that some lawyers had lodged a formal complaint on the matter, but added that the issue was later resolved by the Commissioner of Police.
“The two parties exchanged banters in the commissioner’s office, where the CP reminded them that lawyers and security operatives were partners in progress and should not be fighting,” Ezeh said