2nd October, 2011
Â Governor Adams Oshiomhole has charged members of the Nigerian Bar Association in the state to jettison their resolve not to defend kidnap suspects arrested by security agencies in the state.
He made his position known at the formal opening of the 2011/2012 of the new legal year of the state judiciary.
The NBA decided not to defend them when it became clear that the hoodlums were always kidnapping lawyers in Edo state.
One of the victims is Barrister Inegbedion L.Â who was the NBA Chairman in Ekpoma.
The Governor said â€œthis new phenomenon of kidnapping is extremely disturbing. Over 100 suspected kidnappers have been arrested by security agents.Â They have been charged to court and they have been remanded in prison.Â I think all should appreciate that some efforts are being made.â€
He explained that many of the cases that had been charged to court had not been prosecuted because the bar had taken a decision not to defend kidnappers.
Â â€œI think that it is not helpful when the Bar resolves not to handle cases of suspected kidnappers, knowing full well the way the law operates.Â When you are caught in the act and you confess, you must go through trial ,â€œ he added.
He reminded members of the Bar that their professional calling required them to defend even criminals, asking them to remain faithful to their calling.
Â â€œI have had an occasion to ask the Chief Justice to persuade his brothers on the Bench not to grant bail to people who are involved in kidnapping because I think in every case of kidnapping is also a case of armed robbery because the instruments they use is also used for robbery,â€ he noted.
Noting that the instruments of security are in the hands of the Federal Government, he said as Chief Security Officer of the State, Â he does not have the power to deploy any security officer to or out of the state.
â€œOn matter of security, we need a level of objectivity.Â If we do not put the blame on where it should be, we will find wrong people guilty,” he noted.
On his part the Chief Judge of Edo State noted that if the cost of litigation remains high and access to justice is not improved upon, then the judiciary would have failed in its duty as the last hope of the common man.
He noted that it was his vision to build a judiciary which will be the bastion of hope to all manner of persons who come before it for justice.
By Yomi Obaditan/Benin