Justice Hannatu L. Balogun of the High Court sitting in Kaduna has ordered a perpetual injunction restraining the Nigeria Police from acting on any ‘executive powers, advice and/or any directive in any manner whatsoever and howsoever’ from violating the rights of Barr. Gloria Mabeiam Ballason, Esq.
Ballason who is lead counsel to Prof. Chidi Odinkalu in a suit involving the former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission and Kaduna State Governor Nasir Elrufai had filed through her Lagos-based counsel, Matthew Burkaa & Co, for the enforcement of her fundamental rights when men from the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) visited her office on various occasions between November 27 and December 2019 for reasons only known to them.
Meanwhile, The Nigeria Police claim they acted on a petition submitted at the office of the Governor which was transferred to them for investigation and that their perpetual visits to House of Justice, Ballason’s office was in furtherance to their investigation.
On the contrary, Ballason has the conviction that the constant visit to her office by the police, her harassment and intimidation was to pressure her to back down from hosting the yearly House of Justice Summit, which is on “Human Rights Advocacy,” where experts on human rights are invited to talk on various subjects of human rights violations. There is also suspicion that the ongoing harassment of Ballason is linked to her being Prof. Odinkalu’s lawyer in an ongoing court case against the government of Kaduna State.
The Court further found that the Nigeria Police violated her right to independent practise of her vocation as a legal practitioner and violated Article 23 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.