From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Lawyers and judges in Imo State yesterday embarked on a strike following the killing of Nnaemeka Ugboma, president of the customary court in Ejemekuru in Oguta Council area in the state.
The strike action by members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) of the five branches in the state is in expression of their anger over the death of the jurist.
Gunmen had stormed the court last Thursday and dragged out Mr Ugboma during a court session in which he was presiding, shot him dead and dumped his body at the back of the court and fled the scene.
The NBA chairman in Owerri, Ugochukwu Allinor, said the strike became necessary to spur the government into action in apprehending the killers of the jurist and to provide adequate security for 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 the 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 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 the administration of justice.
(Continued on www.sunnewsonline.com)
“In this circumstance, members of the NBA in Imo State have resolved to boycott all courts in the state, starting from Monday, February 6, 2023, to Wednesday, February 8, 2023, in order to register their displeasure with the current state of affairs. Until 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 courts’ premises were deserted yesterday as judges did not come to courts following the strike action declared by members of the five branches of the Imo State Bar Association.