By RAZAQ BAMIDELE
An Itsekiri leader, Chief (Mrs.) Rita Lori Ogbebor has declared herself vindicated over her incessant cries concerning the alleged abduction and kidnap of judges in Delta State. She was suspecting that the case of kidnapping of Judges who were about to deliver vital judgments, was more than meet the eyes.
In a release she personally signed, the concerned woman leader hinged her current complaint on the Sunday November 25 edition of the Sunday Vanguard that carried a lead story captioned: Kidnappers prevent Judge from sitting for two months, demand N20m ransom. According to the report, Justice Flora Azinge of Otor-Udu High Court, Delta State, “had not been able to sit for two months because kidnappers had asked her to pay a ransom of N20m or she would be abducted.” The kidnappers were reported to have told the judge that “many of her colleagues had paid similar monies , and that if she failed to comply, her life would be in danger,” and thus frightening the woman and preventing her from going to her court for two months.
“When a similar matter occurred in Delta State in August, I shouted myself hoarse, but nobody seemed to listen. Now, it is reaching epidemic proportion,” Ogbebor lamented, reminding that “when the Okere people went to court against the government over a parcel of land, and an interlocutory injunction was to be delivered, the judge was allegedly kidnapped on his way to court and the case had been a subject of incessant adjournments till date.”
Ogbebor, who had petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Nigerian Bar Association and the Police said nobody listened to her, expressing worry that the similar case was the latest one about Justice Flora Azinge.”
In the two cases, the Woman Leader suspected that all indications pointed to the fact that the judges were either kidnapped or threatened to be kidnapped to stop them from giving judgments on the matters that concerned the plaintiffs and the State Government that was the defendant. According to her, the government is still erecting structures on the land in dispute between it and the Okere people.
She therefore asked rhetorically that “if a high court judge was prevented from doing his duties to the country, then, aren’t we heading for anarchy?. she added that “even when I threatened to go to court if nothing was done on the matter, mum, sadly is the word even with no indication that the matter is being investigated!” Now that another judge was being threatened and intimidated by kidnappers, to the point of not being able to sit for two months, Ogbebor reasoned that “justice is being arrested and I am therefore vindicated.”
The visibly worried woman then asked: “When the government has taken the law into its hand, supported by the Joint Task Force, why should anybody risk his or her life by going to court?” regretting that “there is no guarantee of justice again in Delta State and the state is descending into anarchy.”
She therefore called on the relevant authorities to do the needful and expeditiously too, before anarchy was let loose upon the world.