Judges’ kidnap: Challenge to independence of judiciary – Delta deputy gov

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By Austin Ogwuda

Asaba—DELTA State deputy governor, Prof. Amos Utuama, SAN, has said that the recent kidnap attempts on judges in the state were not only a direct attack on lives of the judges but should be seen as a challenge to the independence of the judiciary, “that undermines the essential values of our democracy.”

Utuama, while receiving the Asaba branch Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Osayenim Chukwuma, in his office, weekend, described the decision of NBA Warri branch to deny legal representation to kidnap suspects as commendable.

Judge-kidnap

He said the denial of legal representation to kidnap suspects was clearly a protest against a threat to the administration of justice in the state and urged every one in the state to join hands with the state government to stamp out the menace of kidnapping from the state.

He said: “We must protest anything that challenges the administration of justice. Government is living up to its bidding. Wherever and whenever anybody’s liberty is under threat, government will not fold its hands and watch helplessly. It is our collective responsibility to deal with insecurity because intelligence has revealed that the perpetrators are not strangers but insiders.

“Ninety percent of cases are not accidental, but were planned and executed with the connivance of insiders. We must, therefore, be defensive.”

He called on NBA, other civil society organisations and individuals to partner the Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan-led administration to deal with all forms of insecurity and violent crimes in the state.

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