Police Assault Legal Practitioner, NBA, Law Firm Demand Justice

On Wednesday, Olamide Timothy Olaniyi was viciously beaten by members of the Nigerian Police Force within the premises of the Lagos State Police Headquarters.

The Nigerian Bar Association logo


A legal practitioner, Olamide Timothy Olaniyi has narrated how he was brutally assaulted by some officers of the Nigeria Police Force.

The incident was said to have occurred when Mr. Olaniyi visited the station to inquire about a client who was detained.

Despite his lawful purpose, he was met with insults and unwarranted hostility from officers wielding firearms.

Fearful for his safety, he initially retreated but was later advised by other officers to enter the station to make his inquiries.

However, upon his return, he was subjected to a brutal assault, leaving his face swollen and his clothes torn.

Narrating the incident on his X profile, @Timo_Olamide, on Wednesday, Olamide wrote, “Good morning @Lagos_PoliceCRU, @PoliceNG @BenHundeyin. I am Timothy Olamide Olaniyi, a lawyer from Lagos.

“I am contacting you in respect of the merciless beating I received from a police officer at the Lagos State Police Command in Ikeja this morning.

“I went there on behalf of my colleague to find out about a client who was arrested sometime last month but only for me to get there and was beaten like a condemned criminal. One of the officers told me that not all cases lawyers handle. I went there with all manner of respect and humility.”

In response, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, asked the lawyer to state the section of the police station in which the incident occurred, the name of the police officer involved and also suggested that he (Olamide) could report the case directly to the state police Complaint Response Unit.

Hundeyin wrote, “Which section? What’s the name of the police officer? Or simply come over to @Lagos_PoliceCRU. It’s on the same premises.”

Mr Olaniyi’s law firm, Platinum & Taylor Hill LP has also condemned the brutal assault on its associate by the Nigerian Police Force and demanded the identification and prosecution of the officers responsible within 7 days.

In a statement made available to journalists, and signed by the Managing Partner, Olalekan Ojo, Platinum & Taylor Hill LP, a leading law firm in Nigeria, said it was “deeply saddened and appalled by the egregious act of violence perpetrated against one of our esteemed associates, Olamide Timothy Olaniyi, by officers of the Nigerian Police Force”.

“On Wednesday, March 6th, 2024, Olamide Timothy Olaniyi was viciously beaten by members of the Nigerian Police Force within the premises of the Lagos State Police Headquarters.”

“This reprehensible act not only violates his fundamental rights to dignity and freedom of movement, as enshrined under Sections 34 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) but also strikes at the core of the rule of law.”

“We express our sincere appreciation to Mr Ben Hundeyin, the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, for his swift response to this matter. However, we are deeply disappointed by the statement attributed to the Commissioner of Police, Fayoade Adegoke Mustapha, who scolded our associate for bringing attention to the incident on social media.”

“Platinum & Taylor Hill LP firmly believes that transparency and accountability are essential pillars of a just society.

“We demand that the officers responsible for this despicable act be identified and prosecuted within 7 days. This demand is not only in line with the principles of the Nigerian Police Act but also essential for upholding the rights and dignity of all citizens,” the law firm said.

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has also condemned the incident and demanded justice.

The Chairman of the “NBA Security Agencies Relations Committee (NBA-SARC), Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chukwuka Ikwuazom, revealed that initial police preliminary investigations into the matter appear to show that the officer responsible for the assault might be a member of a team of policemen from the Anambra and Imo State Police Commands, who had come to Lagos to take custody of suspects arrested in Lagos.

“I am pleased to inform you that the Commissioner for Police, Lagos State, has taken decisive steps in response to this incident. In light of the preliminary investigations, the Commissioner has directed all the members of this team of policemen from the Anambra and Imo State Police Commands to present themselves at the Lagos State Police Headquarters in Ikeja tomorrow morning to be paraded to enable Mr Olamide to identify the officer who assaulted him.”

Mr Ikwuazom also said that the NBA-SARC will arrange for one of its members to accompany Mr Olaniyi to the identification parade of the officer, just as the NBA-SARC will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure that all lawyers are free from assault, threats, and intimidation while serving their clients.

This is not the first time legal practitioners will be assaulted by policemen in Lagos while carrying out their duties.

In Dec . 2023, a 36-year-old lawyer, Olumide Sonupe, was hospitalised after he was said to have been detained by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Moshalashi Police Station in the Alimosho area of Lagos State.

In Jan. 2024, hundreds of Nigerian lawyers drawn from all five branches of the NBA in Lagos took to the streets in protest against police brutality against lawyers and other Nigerians.

The lawyers also vowed to file a fundamental rights suit against the police for the unlawful detention and harassment of their member, Mr Olumide Sonupe.