Posted by News Express | 19 June 2021 | 1,077 times
The Nigerian Bar Association Warri Branch, on Friday, reacted to the unprovoked attack and invasion of a High Court in Warri, Delta State allegedly by some unruly crowd of people believed to be sponsored thugs and hoodlums.
Suspected thugs had invaded the hollow chamber of the Warri High Court 4, Delta State and disrupted the court proceedings of a lawsuit filed by one of the Itsekiri princes challenging Prince Emiko’s selection as possible 21th Olu of Warri.
The presiding judge of the court, Hon Justice V O Agboje narrowly escaped being lynched by the invaders who were chanting war song in protest of the lawsuit brought by Mr. Bernard Emiko, junior brother to the immediate past Olu of Warri, His Royal Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli.
Multiple reports say proceedings in the suit on the Itsekiri kingship tussle were abruptly disrupted when the thugs invaded the Warri high court premises around 10.15 a.m on Thursday.
The lawyer to the complainant in the case, Chief E.L. Akpofure (SAN), was addressing the court when the leader of the thugs (name withheld) rushed in and started shouting on top of his lungs and dancing.
The Judge, and other lawyers including a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Efe Akpofure, were said to have narrowly escaped the hoodlums’ attacks.
It was learnt the situation became uncontrollably with the presence of women and youths, who were armed with green leaves and singing war songs round the hallow premises of the court where the case was instituted.
Akpofure and his team of lawyers were trapped inside the court for some hours as they could not come out for fear of being harmed by thugs, who were threatening that if they found Prince Oyowoli or any of his sponsors they would be dead.
Sources said that the judge and Akpofure alongside other lawyers could have been lynched by the mob who trooped into the court room thereafter.
It was learnt the judge escaped through the back door while Akpofure and other senior lawyers fled the scene when the atmosphere became tensed and chaotic.
However, reacting to the development, the Nigerian Bar Association Warri Branch, in a press statement, called on the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police, Delta State and the Director of State Security Services to immediately set up a team of investigators, to unmask the perpetrators of the reprehensible act.
Condemning vehemently the unprovoked attack and invasion of the court, Chief Emmanuel 0. Uti, Esq and Joseph A. Omonoseh, Esq., Chairman and Secretary respectively of the Warri branch of the NBA, urged security agencies to set in motion measures to nip in the bud this ugly trend by providing adequate security in and around the Courts premises in Delta State, to prevent a reoccurrence of this ugly trend.
The statement reads in full: “The Officers and entire Members of the Nigerian Bar Association Warri Branch, received with shock and sadness, the news of the unprovoked attack and invasion of the High Court of Justice Warri, by thugs/hoodlums, which led to the disruption of the Court proceedings in the suit challenging the succession to the stool of the Olu of Warri Kingdom on 17th of June, 2021.
“From the reports available to us, the proceedings were going on peacefully until it took a new twist when a crowd of thugs/hoodlums invaded the High Court of Justice 4, Warri, armed with dangerous weapons and chased away judicial staff, litigants, lawyers including a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who was representing one of the parties and disrupted the proceedings. This act is despicable and a desecration of the hallowed Temple of Justice.
“The Nigerian Bar Association, Warri Branch, condemns in totality this unprovoked attack and barbaric behaviour by the hoodlums/thugs and therefore call on the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police, Delta State and the Director of State Security Services to immediately set up a team of investigators, to unmask the perpetrators of this reprehensible act.
“We also call on the Security agencies to immediately set in motion measures to nip in the bud this ugly trend, by providing adequate security in and around the Courts premises in Delta State, to prevent a reoccurrence of this ugly trend.
“We advise the players in the ongoing succession tussle to sheath their swords and allow peace and the law to take its full course, as we cannot afford to see our peaceful and loving Warri Kingdom engulfed by the flames of crisis.
“A word, they say is enough for the wise”.
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