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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday decried the non-release of the kidnapped Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu from captivity, saying it was disheartening and distressing.

Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu who is one of the Justices of the Court of Appeal in Benin-City, was attacked by gunmen along the Benin-Agbor Highway on her way to an assignment on October 29.

Her police orderly was fatally shot and killed during the incident.

A statement issued yesterday by the NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), said it was sad that not a word has been heard from relevant government agencies or any of the security and law enforcement agencies on efforts to secure her safe release.

“It is of great concern to the NBA and very disheartening and distressing that almost a fortnight after the reprehensible kidnap of Honorable Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu on 30 October 2019, not a word has been heard from relevant governments or any of their security and law enforcement agencies on efforts to secure her safe release and return.”

The NBA stated that in other climes, daily bulletin reports by relevant authorities in regard to incidents are taken for granted.

It emphasised that the kidnap of any judicial officer and in particular, a judge of a superior court and a Justice of the Court of Appeal deserves daily bulletin report from relevant governments and their agencies.

The lawyers’ group added that such reports not only give hope to the citizenry but also reassure judicial officers who now need to worry about the possibilities of criminal abduction and captivity in the course of their judicial functions.

“In other climes, daily bulletin reports by relevant authorities in regard to momentous and heart-rending incidents such as we currently face is routine and taken for granted. The kidnap of any judicial officer, and in particular, a judge of a superior court and a Justice of the Court of Appeal, is of such grave moment as to deserve daily bulletin report from relevant governments and their agencies.

“Such reports not only give hope to the citizenry but also reassure our judicial officers who now need to worry about the possibilities of criminal abduction and captivity in the course of their judicial functions.

“Without such bulletin reports, imagination runs wild and fear grips everyone and, in the process, justice, rule of law and indeed, our democracy becomes imperiled and potentially shackled and kidnapped by these criminals.”

The association warned the government not to carry on as if all is well and nothing has happened when Justice has not been rescued

It said the federal government and its security and law enforcement agencies owe Nigerians the responsibility of rescuing the release of Justice Iheme-Nwosu and bringing the abductors to book.

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