From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri

Lawyers and judges in Imo State embarked on strike action on Monday following the killing of Nnaemeka Ugboma, President of the Customary Court in Ejemekuru in the Oguta Council area of the state.

The strike by members of the Nigeria Bar Association of the five branches in the state is to express their anger at the death of the jurist.

It could be recalled that gunmen who stormed the Court last Thursday had dragged out Mr Ugboma during a session of the court in which he was presiding and shot him dead on the spot, dumped his corpse at the back of the court and thereafter fled the scene.

The NBA chairman in Owerri, Ugochukwu Allinor, said that the strike has become necessary to spur the government into action in apprehending the killers of the jurist and to provide adequate security for the protection of the courts and jurists in the state.

“This dastardly act is highly condemnable as it desecrates the temple of justice and undermines the confidence of the citizens in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man.

“The Bar, therefore, calls on the Imo State Government to provide, with immediate effect, security in and around all the courts in Imo State, which have remained porous despite the sensitive role they play in the society.

“The Imo Bar, in consonance with the national body of the NBA, ably led by Y.C. Maikyau, OON, SAN, firmly resists the attempt to undermine the judiciary and the legal profession, and instil fear in the conduct of judicial proceedings. Also, citizens need to be aware that judicial officers and lawyers are not their enemies or opponents, they only aid in the administration of justice.

“In the circumstance, the members of the NBA in Imo State have resolved to boycott all courts in Imo State starting from Monday 6th February 2023 to Wednesday 8th February 2023, in other to register their displeasure with the current state of affairs.

“Until the members of the Bar in Imo State are sufficiently assured of the safety of the judiciary, the Bar and the litigants as requested, we shall continue to review the situation and to take further necessary actions. ”

The court’s premises were deserted today as Judges did not come to courts following the strike action declared by members of the five branches of the Imo State Bar Association.