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Abducted Edo Judge Regains Freedom

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Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme
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Abducted Edo Judge Regains Freedom

Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme of the Benin Division of the Court of Appeal has regained her freedom about two weeks after she was abducted from the Edo State Capital.

This news medium understands that she was abducted two weeks ago from Benin city, the Edo State Capital.

The vicious gunmen who killed her police orderly before the abduction was said to have trailed and intercepted her Jeep along Benin-Agbor road near Christ Chosen Church.

It was learned that a Toyota Voltron car made up of 4 unknown gunmen suddenly overtook the Judge’s car and immediately opened fire, killing the police orderly on the spot. They then shot the tyre of the jeep forcing the driver to stop.

The female judge was hurriedly whisked into the hoodlums’ car where she was taken to an unknown destination.

The Commissioner of Police, Edo Command, Danmallam Mohammed confirmed that the judge was rescued from kidnappers and has been reunited with her family.

Her abduction had led to public outcry from various quarters with the Nigerian Bar Association, Benin Branch, embarking on a three-day boycott of all courts last week.

The Nigerian Bar Association condemned the abduction of Justice Iheme-Nwosu and the killing of her orderly by the criminals.

A statement issued on behalf of the association by its President, Paul Usoro (SAN), said the police authorities owed the abducted judge and the slain police orderly the duty of fishing out the culprits and ensuring that they face justice.

For two weeks, this respected senior member of the bench was made to suffer in the bush, and under a condition that obviously would be dehumanizing and degrading.

Fear gripped her family members, friends, associates and admirers when the criminals failed to establish contact days after her kidnap, and when they did establish contact, they were alleged to have started with an initial demand of a whopping N2BILLION Naira Ransome.

Even though I don’t know what later transpired before she was released yesterday, at least, millions of Nigerians, especially Imolites are very happy that Her Lordship finally regained her freedom.

Very sadly, Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme’s Police Orderly and her Driver weren’t lucky to be alive as both lost their lives in the attack. While her Police Orderly died instantly after his head was shattered with bullets by the kidnappers, her driver was said to have died two days later in the hospital.

Many other citizens had lost their lives in this manner, and very sadly, we don’t appear very serious and determined to tame this dangerous development that is daily assuming a frightening dimension.

With the death of Her Lordship’s Driver and Orderly, new Orphans and widows have been created, with the attendant sorrow in those two families and beyond. Also more economic pressure has been brought to bear on the country and her citizens.

No doubt, countries all over the world have different security challenges to contain with, but what we have at hand looks like an uncontrollable slide to self destruct, because those who should see the present situation as a national emergency, appear either disconnected from the realities on ground, or are preoccupied with petty politicking, especially, the cheap 2023 political permutations.

Economic development and security go hand in glove, but very unfortunately, there’s nothing to show that we are carefully putting the necessary leadership mechanism in place to rejig our economy and close the huge economic gap between the have and the have-not, which plays key roles in causing insecurity.

Also, there is no impressive metamorphosis in our national security architecture to convince innocent and law abiding citizens that criminals who decide to hide under the umbrella of economic hardships to commit heinous crimes like armed robbery, kidnapping, assassination etc would always be brought to justice before or after committing their crimes.

No citizen, including Justices and security agents would accept to expose their lives to such danger that could be life consuming in the name of service to fatherland, except they are sure and convinced that our institutions are virile and patriotic enough to defend them before or after an attack.

I had stated, and I wish to restate that, individual security, even if it’s done with a battalion, is no security. Until we realise that the challenges staring us in the face require a holistic turnaround that should be fundamental enough to get to the foundation of our security institutions, then we should be ready for more deterioration in all facets of our security.

Nothing emboldenes a criminal and encourages him to strike, than the realisation that the chances of apprehending him are very slim when he commits crime, sadly, this is more realistic in the present day Nigeria, where security agents hardly have the institutional structures and the resources to give optimal services, and when they do have the enablement to work, corruption is allowed to kill professionalism and the zeal to work.

Life is becoming very cheap in Nigeria, and whether we like it or not,we are all victims and vulnerable in one way or the other, and thus stand the risk of losing ours very cheaply, hence the need for us to encourage responsible, responsive, visionary and sincere leadership at all levels, so as to build a society where innocent lives would not be recklessly and senselessly cut short.

While I thank God for the freedom of Her Lordship, Hon. Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme, I sincerely extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of her Driver and Police Orderly whose lives were cut short by those rotten souls who do not appreciate the sanctity of human life, and pray that God grants the souls of the dead eternal repose. I also lend my voice in calling on security agents to ensure that these kidnappers are brought to justice


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