Lawyers and judges in Imo State on Monday commenced a three-day strike over the killing of the magistrate in charge of Ejemekwuru Customary Court in Oguta Local Government Area of the state, Nnaemeka Ugboma.
Ugboma was on Thursday afternoon shot dead by fleeing gunmen while presiding over a session in court.
In a bid to express their anger over the magistrate’s killing, the five branches of the Nigerian Bar Association in the state on Monday embarked on a strike.
Our correspondent who monitored the situation in Owerri on Monday observed that no court at the State High Court at new Owerri nor the Magistrate Court at Orlu road was sitting.
The judges too did not come to court as the premises became shadows of themselves.
The NBA chairman in Owerri, Ugochukwu Allinor, said the measure was being taken to urge government to apprehend the killers of the magistrate and for the courts to be adequately protected.
“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, SAN, firmly resists the attempt to undermine the judiciary and the legal profession, and instill 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, February 6, 2023 to Wednesday February 8, 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.”