More than 100 lawyers, including 20 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), would be assembled to defend Mr. Joachim Chinakwe Iroko, who has been in detention for naming his dog ‘Buhari’.
According to Barr.
Inibehe Effiong, convener of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders
(COHRD), who disclosed this on Thursday, it was a move against
“injustice, tyranny and arbitrariness.”
Also, a similar group has
emerged in Abuja declaring that they would ensure that Iroko’s rights
are fully protected even if it requires pursuing the case beyond
The group, led by Mr. Joseph Adamu of the
Coalition Against Human Rights Abuse (CAHRA), said it would assemble
lawyers that would properly assist those who have begun free judicial
representation for Iroko even as the group said it would raise financial
assistance if needed.
Iroko was arrested last week for naming
his dog ‘Buhari’, which was deemed offensive by some of his neighbours
in an area said to be populated with the President’s supporters.
The police stepped in to arrest him but set him free immediately.
He was later re-arrested in what the Ogun State Police Command termed “an attempt to cause ethno-religious violence.”
was subsequently charged to court and has failed to raise the cost of
the bail bond of N50,000. At the time of this report, he was still in
Ibara Prison in Ogun State.
Effiong said, “I wish to inform the
public that two spirited members of the public responded to my appeal
for assistance to Mr. Joe Chinakwe. The first person donated the sum of
N40,000 yesterday while the second donated N50,000 this morning.”
He has launched a social media appeal to first meet the bail bond and the cost of defence.
“Thus a total sum of N90,000 has been donated to settle the legal fees. Recall that I sought N80,000 for this purpose.
“Once again, I wish to reiterate that I am not the counsel to Chinakwe. I have no personal interest whatsoever in the matter.
intervention in this case is purely based on my conviction that his
arrest, detention and trial is unconstitutional, oppressive and
vindictive. We cannot all submit to injustice, tyranny and
“Anyone that is still in doubt about the political
nature of this case should search his inner conscience closely. Those
using ethnicity, religion and political sentiments to obfuscate this
case should know that Nigeria is a country of laws,” he said.
rights activist stressed that the human rights community would not sit
back and watch innocent citizens being traumatised and dehumanized.
fact that the two persons who donated this money are from the North and
the South-West, respectively, shows that the bonds of brotherhood and
egalitarianism among patriotic Nigerians are superior to the whimsical
and repulsive commentaries of ethnic and religious bigots.
are currently assembling a team of public interest cum human rights
lawyers (we are targeting 100 lawyers or more) for the defence of
Chinakwe, pro bono, from the next court sitting if the police insist on
going ahead with this case.
“On the request of the wife of Chinakwe, I wish to convey my appreciation to the donors. May God replenish them.
“All things being equal, Chinakwe will be out of the prison custody in the coming hours,” he promised