The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has described as disheartening and distressing the silence of the federal government on the reprehensible kidnap of Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu of the Court Appeal fortnight ago.
Justice Iheme-Nwosu was kidnapped on 30th October 2019, and nothing has been heard from relevant governments or any security and law enforcement agencies on efforts to secure her safe release and return.
The NBA, in a statement by its President, Paul Usoro (SAN) said, “Is our belief and expectation that the various governments and their agencies are working assiduously to secure the safe release of Iheme-Nwosu and to bring the criminals to book but the citizenry need to be updated on these efforts and to have periodic information on the progress that is being achieved”.
The NBA said, “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”.
According to the NBA boss, without such bulletin reports, imagination runs wild and fear grips everyone and, in the process, justice, rule of law and indeed, the nation’s democracy becomes imperiled and potentially shackled and kidnapped by criminals.
“The NBA not only condemns in the strongest terms the horrifying and criminal abduction of Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu, but calls more importantly for her immediate release and safe return to all of us.
“The law enforcement agencies owe their assassinated colleague, Iheme-Nwosu’s orderly the debt and responsibility of fishing out and meting justice to the criminals who so brutally and heinously murdered him and abducted His Lordship.
“This crime must not end up as part of our crime statistics. We owe ourselves the responsibility of stopping these criminals now. They must not go unpunished. We must start our redemption by ensuring the safe return of Iheme-Nwosu,”, the NBA President stated in the statement.
The umbrella body of lawyers in the country warned that, nothing should happen to His Lordship and that her abductors must not escape justice and reiterated its earlier call for daily bulletin reports from the federal government and respective security and law enforcement agencies.
“We demand to hear from the federal government and its agencies today (Tuesday). More importantly, we demand the immediate release and safe return of Iheme-Nwosu to her family, the justice sector and all of us”, the statement added.