Lawyers practising in Imo State have begun a three-day boycott of court sessions in the state over the murder of their colleague, Darlington Odume.
Our correspondent who monitored the development in Owerri observed that the state high court and Owerri Magistrate’s court in Owerri were not in operations on Monday.
It is also the same situation in all the courts across the lengths and breaths of the state.
Odume was last week murdered in front of a supermarket in Orlu town in Orlu Local Government Area of the state.
Many lawyers who spoke to our correspondent said that all the five branches of the Nigerian Bar Association in the state agreed that the lawyers will boycott court sessions for three days to express their sorrow over the killing of Odume who was called to bar about six years ago.
Apart from the killing of Odume, a former chairman of the Owerri branch of NBA, Ndionyenma Nwankwo, was on February 7, found dead in his office in Owerri, the state capital.
A lawyer, Ephraim Anthony, told our correspondent that the lawyers were saddened by the killing of their colleagues.
He regretted that six months after Nwankwo was murdered in his office, the security operatives had yet to uncover the mystery behind the dastardly act.
A human rights lawyer, Malcolm Emokiniovo Omirhobo has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari for refusing to licence and grant him and other Nigerians permission to bear AK-47 assault rifles to defend themselves against any attack by Fulani terrorists and bandits.
In the suit with number: FHC/ABJ/CS/1078/2021 filed on Friday, September 17, 2021, before the Federal High Court in Abuja and obtained by SaharaReporters, the lawyer is seeking an order of the court compelling the President and other relevant licensing authorities to grant him and all Nigerians permission and licences to bear arms for self-defence against attacks by bandits.
He said AK-47 rifles should not only be restricted to members of the Armed Forces.
According to him, Nigerian citizens should also be allowed to bear the weapon for proportionality of force.
The plaintiff contended that the Firearms Act violated the fundamental rights of Nigerians to life, to own properties, to movement, and right to family and personal life.
He stated, “That the Nigerian Constitution gives every Nigerian the right to defend their fundamental rights listed above from unlawful violence.
“That in collaboration with the Nigerian Constitution, both the Criminal Code Act and Penal Code Act give every Nigerian citizen the right to self-defence by applying the use of
such force as they believe on reasonable grounds to be necessary in order to prevent their fundamental rights to life, dignity of the human person, personal liberty, private and family life, peaceful assembly and association, freedom of movement, and right to own moveable and immoveable property from unlawful violence.
“That for the past 12 years, Nigeria has been faced with violent crimes ranging from killings, bloodletting, kidnapping, arson, rape, armed robbery/banditry, cultism, highway robbery, hijacking, abductions, suicide bombing, ethnic cleansing, communal clashes, ritual murders, human trafficking, terrorism and wanton malicious damage of property.
“That the insecurity in Nigeria is heightened with well-armed criminal elements who are on a daily basis invading Nigeria from other African countries, more particularly West African countries such as Niger, Senegal, Guinea, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Benin Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, and Cameroon.
The lawyer was murdered on Thursday by unknown gunmen in Umudara, Amaifeke in the Orlu Local Government Area of Imo state.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has distanced the group from the gruesome murder of a legal practitioner, Barrister Darlington Odume.
The lawyer was murdered on Thursday by unknown gunmen in Umudara, Amaifeke in the Orlu Local Government Area of Imo state.
It was learnt that the deceased was trailed from his chamber in the Orlu town by his assailants and was shot severally around Amaifeke, where he was buying some edible items.
IPOB in a statement signed and made available to SaharaReporters by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, said Odume was murdered by the state-sponsored group known as unknown gunmen.
Powerful urged the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) not to be deceived by false media propaganda of the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Service, stressing that IPOB could not hurt lawyers and journalists, assuming they were to be violent.
The statement read, “We the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, distance ourselves from the gruesome murder of a legal paractioner Barr. Darlington Chume Odume popular known as Omekagu who was murdered in Amaifeke Orlu Imo State by the state sponsored group known as unknown gunmen.
“Contrary to allegations by those bent on demonising IPOB, IPOB has no hand in the cruel and unconscionable killing of Barrister Darlington Chume Odume. Those perpetrating these murderous activities in Imo State and other parts of Biafra land are doing so just to implicate IPOB and the Eastern Security Network, ESN.
Justice Ibrahim Yusuf of the Kwara State High Court on Wednesday issued a bench warrant on Mr Sikiru Solagberu, the counsel for one of the eight accused persons facing trial in the murder of Blessing Olajide, a student of the University of Ilorin.
Olajide was raped and murdered in the Tanke area of Ilorin on June 2, 2021.
The eight accused persons being prosecuted on 11 counts are Abdulazeez Ismail, Ajala Oluwatimileyin (aka Jacklord), Oyeyemi Omogbolahan, Abdulkarim Shuaib (aka Easy), Kareem Rasheed (Rashworld), Abdullateef Abdulrahman, Daud Adebayo (aka Bashman), and Akande Taiye Oladoja.
The case, however, took a dramatic turn when the presiding judge ordered the police to arrest Adebayo’s lawyer, Solagberu, for making uncomplimentary remarks about the Tuesday proceedings on television and social media.
The counsel also allegedly withdrew his services from the case without informing his client.
Solagberu, who filed a motion for the bail of his client on Tuesday, which was dismissed by the court, was alleged to have criticised the decision of the court.
Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Lead counsel to Nnamdi Kanu and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has made an SOS call on his Twitter handle, alleging that operatives of the Nigerian Army and Department of State Services invaded his home and have been shooting sporadically.
According to Ejiofor, who posted the disturbing tweets early Sunday morning, June 6, he did nothing wrong and that it could be the last time he is heard from.
He wrote; “Alert .Joint team of the police and Army are presently in my house shooting sporadically on sight, to arrest me. As a lawyer i hve committed no offence known to law. My life is unde serious threat . People are being killed and i don’t know what will happen to me next.”
In a follow up tweet, he wrote;
“Pray for me and my entire household.You may not hear from me again till further notice.”
Sai’da Saad Bugaje, a lawyer, mother of two, is in hiding after a spat with Governor Ganduje of Kano State, Northwest Nigeria.
Sai’da Saad Bugaje, a lawyer and Legal Adviser to the Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS), became a victim of harassment and intimidation at her home in Kaduna back in September 2020, after she dabbled into the manner the Kano Governor is managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The harassment started after a private conversation leaked, in which she and few others were discussing how Nigerian leaders were managing the COVID-19 outbreak back in March 2020.
The high mortality rate in Kano and the response by the Kano state governor was raised by Sai’da, which she claims was later rejigged in the leaked copy which made its way to social media.
“I want it to be clear that when the audio came out, it was changed around but the message is still there. I don’t deny the message I was trying to send out which was that Kano state was not managing the COVID-19 crisis very well and the Governor at the time requested for some funding from the federal government which they refused to give,” she tells HumAngle.
“I also said that Kano is being run by the family and they are involved in everything. So it went viral and I honestly didn’t think there was any issue. As a leader, people are bound to criticise your policies and even get personal, I have always been critical on issues all my life,” Sai’da added.
She says it was the main reason she opted to go into politics, then becoming a civil society activist and now a lawyer.
Sai’da stated that it would be impossible for her to keep silent when things are going wrong in her backyard.
Sai’da narrated to HumAngle how events unfolded in September 2020 at her house in Kaduna, when an armed group of people in mufti showed up at her gate, demanding to see her.
After her security guard informed her of the guests, she asked to speak to them to confirm their identity and the purpose of their unannounced visit.
“When I spoke to them it was a lady who asked me to come down. I had to ask who she was and where she was from and said she was from the zonal office in Kano and was here to have a word with me. I was baffled why they had come all the way to Kaduna. All of a sudden, she became rude saying that an authority sent her and if I didn’t come down, whatever happened to me I would have myself to blame.”
In light of the threat, she quickly placed a call to her office requesting for security, sent her kids upstairs and locked up her house, suspicious that the unidentified persons could be kidnappers or some other criminal elements.
“For a group of Police to come all the way from another division from another state was very fishy. And she couldn’t produce a warrant when I asked her for it,” Sa’ida explained.
“I had to ask ‘on what grounds? What have I done?’ It was then that I was told that the video circulating regarding the governor was defaming his character.”
“That was when I raised that it wasn’t how to go about it. If he felt like I had defamed him, then he should go to court and the judge will summon me after you have filed a petition against me. This is a civil matter, not a criminal one,” she said.
Sa’ida said she first considered going to Kano as requested but later grew cold feet when she recalled how many people had gone missing, ended up locked up or intimidated in similar circumstances. She couldn’t take that risk.
Instead of going to Kano, Sa’ida went to a high court in Zaria where she got an injunction from the judge restraining Ganduje and other officers from the IGP below from arresting her. This was essential in ensuring her safety and that of her family.
Lawyers and judiciary workers in Imo suspended court sitting yesterday to protest against the kidnap of a lawyer Barr. Chima Awurum.
Awurum was kidnapped by gunmen last Friday in Mbano/Etiti, Imo.
Secretary of the Imo branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Chinedu Agu, said in a memorandum yesterday that there must be strict compliance with the directive to down tools.
Agu said that the request to suspend court sitting was approved by the Acting Chief Judge on the state, Ijeoma Oguguo and signed by the Chief Registrar, C.N Okereke.
The memorandum read: “The Office of the Chief Registrar, High Court of Imo State, has declared that in solidarity with the Mbano/Etiti Branch of the NBA, the High Courts and Magistrates Courts will not sit on Tuesday.’’
Kidnappers have killed the Chairman of the Onitsha Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Francis Onwuachi.
Onwuachi, President General of Omor, a community in Ayamelum Local Government Area, was kidnapped a week ago on his way to his town by persons suspected to be herdsmen.
Following the deteriorating state of insecurity in Anambra State, the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has read the riot act to criminals due to the recent attacks on police and naval personnel in the state.
A source said attempts to rescue the NBA chairman proved abortive, until he was found dead on Friday night.
Efforts to get the Police Public Relations Officer in Anambra State, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, to react to the news were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, the Committee of Chairmen and Secretaries of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) branches in Anambra State has bemoaned what it described as the worsening security situation in the state.
The group called on the federal and Anambra State governments as well as heads of security agencies to wake up to their responsibility of protecting the citizens.
In a in a statement signed by all the chairmen and secretaries of the various branches, the association said there was tension in the whole state.
The statement read: “The Committee notes that the security situation in Anambra State is highly tensed up and frightening, to say the least.
“Just last week Friday, 12/3/2021, a lawyer, Mr. Frank Onwuachi, who is also the President General of Omor in Ayamelum LGA of Anambra State, was kidnapped along Ezu River/Anaku road and gruesomely murdered the following day by his captors.
An Anambra based legal practitioner and member of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Otuocha Branch, F.O. Onwuachi Esq has been murdered by his kidnappers reports reaching BarristerNG.com can confirm.
F. A. Onwuachi Esq. was kidnapped on Friday, 12th day of March at about, 7:30pm along Ezu river/Anaku road in Ayamelum Local government area of Anambra State but his kidnappers made no attempt at contacting his family until his body was recovered.
An Anambra based lawyer who does not want his name on print confirmed that Onwuachi Esq’s body has been recovered and Buried.
The NBA Otuocha Branch had earlier threatened to boycott courts in Anambra State until he is rescued.