The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Benin branch, has declared a three-day boycott of courts to protest the kidnap of Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu.
Chairman of the Benin branch, Prince Collins Ogiebgean, who made the declaration at a press briefing, said the boycott begins on Wednesday and would end on Friday, adding that if by then the abducted justice still remained in captivity, they would have no option than to extend the boycott.
The NBA also set up a task force headed by Mr. Douglass Ogbankwa to ensure compliance within all courts in Benin jurisdiction, adding that the taskforce would liaise with chairmen of other branches to monitor as well as ensure total compliance.
Prince Ogiegbean who was flanked by Mr. Adesina Ogunlana, the immediate-past chairman of Ikeja branch of NBA; and Mr. Habeeb Lawal, National Assistant Publicity Secretary of NBA, also called on the state government and security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities to ensure the protection of lives and properties, which according to him, “remained the primary responsibility of government”.
“We are calling on state government and heads of security agencies to live up to their billing. Face the task squarely in protecting lives and properties and to go the extra mile to see that Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu is rescued and that this should be the last time such will happen.
“It offends our senses as persons living in a society such as ours. If the orderly of a justice can be shot and the justice taken away in broad daylight what happens to those of us who do not have security around us?”
“It is for this reason that we have resolved as a mark of protest. Accordingly, with effect from Wednesday 6th of November, we shall proceed on a boycott of all courts in Edo State. No lawyer is permitted to appear in any of the courts. This is in solidarity with Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Mohammed, has said that operatives of his command were working hard with other security agencies to secure the release of the abducted judge.
Justice Iheme-Nwosu was abducted along the Benin-Agbor road in Benin City last week and her police orderly killed in the process.