JUDICIAL activities were paralysed today at the Federal High Court in Akure the Ondo State capital following the abduction of one of the judges Justice Abdul Dogo who was kidnapped by armed gunmen at Ibilo town in Edo State.
Justice Dogo was apparently kidnapped yesterday by the assailants at Ibilo as he was returning to Akure from Abuja. A member of Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, said the lawyers who had cases in the court, particularly that of Justice Dogo, were disappointed after hearing the news of the judge’s abduction.
He said: “It was a sad day today at the court and no serious activities have taken place today, as even lawyers who have cases went back sad when they were told about the incident. We are only praying to God for the release of the man unhurt.”
Human rights group, the Rescue Nigeria Coalition, has called on the federal and state governments for urgent action to secure the freedom of the victim. Its president, Tope Temokun, said the ugly incident was an indication that the whole country was not safe .
Mr Temokun added: “This is a national embarrassment and confrontation and we are all in danger, as no one is safe . The kidnap of the judge is once again a reminder to us all that the country is at war against its self.
“It shows that insecurity that is consuming us all now does not know face or tribe or status or religion. It is one challenge that we all need to come together to confront and hold our government to its toes that it is either the government rescue the country now or we all perish.”
Femi Joseph, a spokesman for the Ondo State Police Command, who confirmed the incident, said the judge was abducted in Edo State but saying the two commands have swung to action to rescue the victim. He appealed to anyone with useful information that could lead to the rescue of the judge and the arrest of the culprits, to let the police know.
Mr Joseph said: “We are working in tandem with our colleagues in whose jurisdiction this incident happened, to ensure that His Lordship is rescued unhurt and also apprehend the perpetrators.”
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has called on the Ondo State police commissioner Undie Adie to ensure that the victim was released unhurt. He asked the commissioner to synergize with his Edo State counterpart to rescue the victim.