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Port Harcourt: SARS Commander Detains Lawyer

A Port Harcourt based legal practitioner, Barr. Pastor Opuoyibo Barango has been detained by the Commander in charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The Newswriter’s investigation revealed that one Hon. Tonye Bright retained the services of Barr. Barango to defend him before a law court from illegal and unlawful detention from SARS.

Hon. Bright while in custody suffered partial stroke and went on admission in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. Thereafter, medical personnel at the UPTH went on strike and Hon. Bright was referred to a Specialist Hospital in Lagos.

During this period Barr. Barango commenced an action at the High Court of Rivers State in suit number PHC/1283/2013. The matter was presided over by Honourable Justice D. W. Okocha. The court after hearing all the parties declared that the arrest and detention was illegal and placed a perpetual injunction on the police from further arrest.

The order was duly served on the police on 20/10/2013 received by on PC Gogo John and the counsel for SARS, Edet at the office of the O/C legal, state CID.

However, the SARS Commander unhappy with the order, instead of appealing the judgment decided to take law into his hands. The Commander thereafter arrested Barr. Barango and detained him in place of his client. The client we learnt is recuperating.

This incident, detaining lawyers in place of their clients may have laid a terrible precedent. We learnt further that Barr. Barango was deprived of sleep, food and water and was made to sign an undertaking to produce the father of Hon. Bright. The question is: what was the reason for the detention of Barr. Barango?

There are speculations that the detention goes into the realm of politics. Barr. Barango is a well-known and active supporter of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration and is openly canvassing that Mr. Jonathan should go for a second term.

Is the SARS Commander playing a northern script? This was given credence because the Commander is of Hausa-Fulani extract. Further, Barr. Barango is a Christian and pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) who did not commit any offence known to law. We gathered that the detention of the lawyer has religious undertones. ###

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