25th November, 2014
Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
Barely 24 hours after the All Progressive Congress, APC, raised alarm that there were attempts to forcefully open the courts and called for the quick intervention of the new Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, unknown gunmen abducted the Chief Registrar of the Rivers State High Court, Mr. Leonard Adoki.
Mr. Adoki was kidnapped on Sunday, in his home town, Amalem, Abua, in Abua/Odual Local Government Area of the state.
The Chief Registrar was intercepted by the hoodlums while he was returning from church and whisked him to an unknown destination and no contacts have been established with the members of his family.
The Rivers Police Command has confirmed the kidnap of Adoki in his home town through the Police Public Relations Officer, Ahmad Muhammad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP).
The PPRO said that two suspects had been arrested in connection with the abduction, adding that investigations were on to track down the fleeing gang members. “Efforts are on to rescue him as two suspects involved in the abduction have been arrested”.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Port Harcourt, has condemned the abduction of the chief registrar.
The branch spokesman, Angus Chukwuka, described the act as an aberration, and urged the perpetrators to release him unconditionally.
It would be recalled that at the peak of the crisis of who becomes the substantive Chief Judge of Rivers State between Justice Peter Agumagu and Justice Daisy Okocha, the Rivers State House of Assembly amended the state high Court vesting powers to assign cases to Judges on the Chief Registrar in the absence of the CJ.
The new law however did not assuage the feelings of the a cross section of lawyers in the state and that has led to the courts been locked for about seven months now.
It is not however not clear if the kidnap is politically motivated or one that criminals perpetuate in exchange for juicy ransom.