Policewoman in CP’s convoy slaps lawyer, tenders public apology

•Confesses to assault, asks victim for forgiveness

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Tuesday disclosed that a police officer in the convoy of the Delta State Commissioner of Police Sgt. Galadima Nwayama who recently assaulted a Sapele-based lawyer, Barrister Samson Chinedozi Okehielem, has written a formal apology letter, seeking forgiveness.

When Nigerian Tribune contacted the officer, she confirmed writing the apology letter.
When asked if the suit instituted against her had been withdrawn, she said she was yet to hear from either her victim or the NBA.

She sounded very contrite on the phone.

National Publicity Secretary of the lawyers’ association, Barrister Kunle Edun in a statement said the slapping incident occurred on January 13 when the CP’s convoy decided to drive through a barricade within the vicinity of Asaba High Court, disrupting court proceedings in the process.

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Making available the apology letter, Edun stated that, “Attached is an apology letter from a Police officer who slapped a lawyer in Asaba. The lawyer is Samson Chinedozi Okehielem, a Sapele based lawyer who had a matter before Hon. Justice F.N. Azinge at High Court No. 4 Asaba.

“During the court’s sitting on the 13th day of January, 2020 a convoy of the Commissioner of Police removed the barricade on the road including the signboard ‘COURT IN SESSION’.

The Court usually put the barricade because of the noise from vehicles plying that road. There are two other alternative routes within that same area but the CP’s convoy felt they were above the law.

“During the commotion, the Court had to rise and lawyers came out to caution the CP’s convoy that they should not remove the barricade and advised to take the alternative routes.

“One of the police officers, Sgt. Galadima Nwayama of the ‘A’ Division Police Station, Asaba (who was in the convoy) confronted our colleague and slapped him. Eventually, the convoy passed and still returned again passing the same route.

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“Immediately I got wind of it, I reached out to our colleague. He subsequently filed an action to enforce his fundamental rights against the said Sgt. and the Police authorities. The Police authorities through the Command’s Legal Department reached out to me and requested for out of court settlement.

Our colleague discussed it with the Police legal team. He stated that he would forego reimbursement of the legal expenses incurred. I proofread the terms and advised that the NBA President, the branch Chairman and my Lord, F.N. Azinge should be copied.”

In her apology letter dated February 10, and addressed to the victim, the officer said, “I Sergeant Galadima Nwayama a Police Officer attached to ‘A’ Division Asaba without prejudice to the above suit (A/M/12/2020), thereby unequivocally state that I sincerely regret my actions and inactions that led to my assaulting, Barr. Samson Chinedozi Okehielem (the applicant in the above suit) and accordingly, I hereby apologize to the Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice F.N Azinge, the entire Staff of High Court 4, Asaba, the applicant in the above suit and Nigerian Bar Association for my actions and inactions on that faithful day of 13th January 2020 at the road in front of High Court 4, Asaba and I wish to further state that like Apostle Paul who says in Romans 7:15 that sometimes he finds himself doing things which he ought not to do…, that my actions and inactions on 13th day of January 2020, do not in any way, represent my person.

“I equally promise that it will never re-occur again and I further promise to be of good behaviour from now henceforth.

Your cooperation in this regard will be highly appreciated, please”.

She personally signed the apology, complete with her mobile line.

The letter was copied to the president of NBA, chairman, Sapele branch and Justice Azinge.

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