By NWABUEZE OKONKWO, Onitsha
Combined efforts of members of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Idemili Branch and family members may have contributed towards securing the release of an Onitsha-based legal practitioner, Ejike Efobi, who was abducted penultimate Sunday night at Nkpor Junction in Anambra State, by unknown gunmen.
The gunmen who operated in a Volks Wagen had blocked Efobi’s Toyota Camry as he was returning from his village, Abatete and was about to drop one of his relations. They dragged him down from his own vehicle and pushed him into theirs and zoomed off, after shooting sporadically into the air to scare passersby.
The incident triggered off protests and prayer session from NBA members, which led to the closure of both Magistrate and High Court in all parts of Anambra State, wherein the lawyers demanded for his immediate release , failure which they threatened to hands off all kidnap cases in court.
However, apparently sensing that if the lawyers hands off all kidnap cases pending in law courts, the accused persons, including members of the kidnap gang might be affected. Efobi’s his abductors quickly collected an unspecified amount of ransom and released him last Thursday night.
Confirming his release, a cousin to the victim, Barr. Maurice Efobi, told Crime Guard on phone that the kidnappers dropped him at New Tyres Market, Nkpor, along Enugu/Onitsha Expressway, adding however, that he did not know the actual amount of ransom paid for his release, as he was not a part of the contact group.
Meanwhile, a group of crime prevention campaigners, under the aegis of Crime Prevention Campaign of Nigeria, CPCN, have read riot acts to terrorists, kidnappers and other criminal elements in Anambra State in particular and the entire country at large, with a vow to arrest them and hand them over to the police for prosecution.
They also vowed to foil more robbery and kidnap operations in the country as they had successfully done in the past, since their formation during the late General Sani Abach’s regime, adding that this time around, they would expose the identities of Boko Haram insurgents who have been bombing and killing innocent citizens in some parts of the country and abducting innocent persons, including the Chibok students.
The National Trustee of the group, Mr. Charles Hopst who stated this recently in Agulu, Anambra State, during their annual national delegate conference, said they had deployed their members to all nooks and crannies of the country to burst crimes and at the same time monitor the activities of the insurgents which he said has become unbearable.