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NBA condemns attacks on Imo courts, lawyers

THE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned that attack by some yet-to-be identified arsonists who burnt down the High Court of Imo State building including court’s files, exhibits, and records books in Orlu on December 16, 2022.

The NBA, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Akorede Lawal said the nation cannot build a virile justice system that upholds the rule of law if destruction of the structures upon which justice stands continues.

“The NBA is concerned that this suspected arson on the court was premeditated, as eyewitnesses (including a court official who lives close to the court in Orlu) confirmed that the perpetrators started by shooting sporadically to scare away everyone before wreaking havoc on the Court,” the statement partly read.

“The NBA is particularly disturbed that barely 48 hours after the incident at the High Court of Imo State, Orlu, there was another fire incident at the Bailiffs’ Section of the Magistrates Court in Owerri, Imo State and all the files and exhibits in that part of the Magistrates Court were totally destroyed.

“While investigations are ongoing to determine the actual cause of the fire incident in the Owerri Magistrate Court, the NBA notes with deep concern that attacks on judicial institutions are gradually becoming a disturbing trend in Imo State.

“Not too long ago, the Customary Court in Orlu was razed by suspected hoodlums, and the National Industrial Court in Owerri has remained shut following an attack and abduction of three court staff in the course of their lawful duties.

“There is no gainsaying the fact that these attacks on the Courts will and have affected the confidence of the residents in the Government, particularly its judicial arm; for if the Courts which are ‘Houses of Justice’ are not safe, no citizen will consider his or her life and properties to be safe. Equally, these attacks will cause unimaginable and inordinate delay in the administration of justice and impact negatively on the livelihoods of our members in Imo State, many of whom are litigators.

“While the NBA leadership is in touch with our local Branches in Imo State in order to ensure that the culprits are found and made to face the full weight of the law, the NBA also calls on the Government of Imo State to deliberately and urgently beef up security in and around all the Courts premises in the State.”

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