…in the name of Almighty God set her free
About six days after she was kidnapped, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), on Monday led a national campaign for the release of Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu, describing her abduction as a sad commentary in the nation’s annals.
“It is the saddest reminder of a beleaguered nation in the asphyxiating throes of death by installment.
“I beg you, captors or kidnappers of Justice Chioma, in the name of Almighty God to please release her unhurt. See her as your mother that you would never do anything to hurt no matter the circumstances.
“I beg you also in the name of humanity and of womanhood, as you read this, to set free, unharmed, unmolested and unhurt, this judicial Amazon. Please, please, please. I beg you,’’ Ozekhome pleaded.
PerSecondNews recalls that just one week after a Federal High Court judge was seized in Ondo-Edo State boundary, a Court of Appeal judge, Justice Chioma Nwosu, has been kidnapped in Benin City, Edo.
Her police orderly Insp. A.I. Momoh, was shot dead by the armed kidnappers.
The woman judge was traveling in her Toyota SUV before she was intercepted near Christ Chosen Church of God International on Benin-Agbor road by the gunmen at 11.30am.
They shot the tyres of the vehicle to force it to a halt before forcefully taking her away to unknown destination.
Describing the incident as heart-rending, Ozekhome said: “This is a noblewoman of high virtue, a fecund mind and one of the finest jurists of great erudition, currently dispensing justice in our intermediate Court, the Court of Appeal.
“It is heart-rending that Nigeria has been turned into a gruesome and crimson theatre of blood, with absolutely no government protection in sight.’’
The human rights lawyer lamented parlous state of security in the country which has endangered the lives of judicial officers (judges) in the discharge of their duties.
Judicial officers, Ozekhome noted, were not provided the right environment for their safety and effective performance of their duties.
He said: “The Judiciary, the weakest and whipping child of the three arms of government is mostly at the receiving end.
“A minister or Senator (both of the Executive and Legislative arms of government, respectively), can afford to travel in convoys of fully armed security operatives.
“A Judge is mercifully left with just one policeman, usually armed with obsolete firearms. He is plucked down and dismembered like a chicken.
“Yet, the judge, especially Justices of the Court of Appeal, must traverse the nation, handling never-ending sensitive appeals from election petition tribunals, in jurisdictions other than their ordinarily accustomed places of abode or sitting.
“They are thus compelled by the cause and course of duty to travel by road, the very bad roads that are unmanned by security personnel. They thus fall easy prey to marauders.”
Ozekhome accused politicians of busy politicking instead of settling down to work and spread the dividends of democracy while “citizens are being mauled down across the nooks and crannies of the country’’.
On 2023 polls, he expressed shock that politicians were already busy, strategising and plotting for 2023 polls “even while the ink was yet to dry on paper as regards the February 2019 elections’’.
“Nigeria has become overheated and over politicised enclave with no space for genuine governance.
“ he masses are hapless and are the victims of societal degeneracy and misplaced values,’’ he said.