- The NBA in Ondo has cried out over the alarming rate of insecurity in the state, especially in the Owo area
- Members of the association, recently revealed that the criminal activities of kidnappers in the state is fast getting out of hand
- In reaction to the ugly trend, the NBA in Ondo has resolved never to defend any kidnap suspects in court cases
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Owo branch in Ondo and the federal governments to declare a state of emergency on kidnapping on roads in Owo and Nigeria generally.
The NBA boss in the state, Tajudeen Olutope Ahmed, revealed that its members were perturbed about the level of insecurity in Owo, adding that a decision has been taken not to defend kidnap suspects anymore, The Nation reports.
Ahmed stated that reports of “armed gangs, gun running and kidnapping are now ubiquitous in every nook and cranny of the ancient city”.
He further said that most major roads leading to Owo “are infested with all forms of criminally minded men”.
“We call on the Government of Ondo State and that of the Federal Government to complement the efforts of the police authorities in securing the roads.
“It is not in contention that security is a key component of the fundamental objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy of Government as enshrined in Section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as altered).
“By the provisions of the above quoted section of the constitution, ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’.
“On our part, we hereby declare that no lawyer from our branch shall henceforth, defend anybody that is accused of kidnapping a fellow citizen. Kidnapping is a heinous crime. It is a horrendous offence in all ramifications. It is a grievous wrong against humanity.
“It is on this note that we hereby invite the government of Ondo State and that of the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on kidnapping on Owo roads and that of the entire federation.”
He added that abductors who disguise themselves as “pseudo policemen, pseudo soldiers or Fulani herdsmen”, to kidnap people “from all the roads that lead to Owo.”
“A recent case of kidnapping was the one carried out on Owo–Akure expressway at Amurin Village. The commando-like operation, which led to the abduction of five citizens, including a heavily pregnant woman, was executed by some unknown men at about the closing hours of the day when civil servants were returning to Akure.
“NBA Owo is worried and disturbed that the police could not give a correct account of the citizens that were kidnapped on the Owo-Akure expressway. While eye witnesses said the victims were five, – three Federal Medical Centre Owo staffers and two Rufus Giwa Polytechnic workers “ the Ondo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) was reported in a newspaper to have put the number of the kidnapped victims at two individuals.
“As much as possible, the police are required under the law to investigate crime and prosecute felons. How can the police that is lacking in the needed skill to investigate crime be able to nib crimes in the bud?
“As lawyers and advocates of justice, rule of law and human rights; we view the incessant kidnap of citizens in Owo axis as violation of human rights of citizens to freedom of movement, personal liberty and respect for the dignity of human persons as guaranteed by Sections 41, 35 and 34 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as altered).”
He also recalled a branch member was once kidnapped and that “the kidnappings ad infinitum in Owo and her environs”, indicated a total collapse of security in Owo and the triumph of kidnapping and armed gangsters.
Ahmed stated: “As social engineers fighting against all societal problems, we as lawyers cannot keep silent when the security situation of our society is at its lowest ebb.
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“What is more? We now carry out our duties as ministers in the Temple of Justice with apprehension. Travelling from one court to another by lawyers and judges has now become an uphill task.”
Urging security agencies to be on red alert, the NBA boss said: "This is not the time to slumber. It is not the time to be supine as well. Police must, as a matter of necessity, be at alert to the security situation in Owo and her environs.
"To this end, we suggest that the idea of mounting police checkpoints, which are nothing but avenues to take bribes from commuters, should be reviewed.
“Constant police patrol of the roads should be embarked on. In this way police will be able to foil any attempt by the men of underworld from showcasing their daredevil skills on the roads.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that unknown gunmen on Monday, November 20, invaded Shendam local government area of Plateau state and whisked away the traditional ruler of Long Dorok Chiefdom.
Legit.ng gathered that the former councillor in Dorok community, Leo Densak, made the abduction news of the second class monarch known.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng We have updated to serve you better.
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