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NBA Gives Soludo One Month Ultimatum to Find Killers of Slain Colleague, Peter Awa



By Praise Chinecherem

Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Anambra State Chapter has issued the State Governnent one month ultimatum to fish out killers of its Vice Chairman (Ihiala Branch), Peter Awa.

Awa was killed on Sunday, May 19 in Eke Umudioka, Okija, Ihiala Local Council Area of the State.

Speaking shortly after the protest of eight branches of NBA in the State, State Chairman of Committee of Lawyers and Secrearies of NBA, Izuchukwu Nsofor said the association would take the next line of action over government’s failure to restore safety and security in the State.

Nsofor who doubles as the Chairman of Ihiala Local Council Branch of NBA, condemned the colleague’s abduction and killing, as well as a State Counsel in the Minstry of Justice, demanding government’s action to unmask his killers and bring them to justice.

“Insecurity in the State has had its toll leading to the kidnap and killing of Barr Jude Oguejiofor from Orsumoghu in Nnewi South Local Council Area of the State, attempted kidnap and sustaenance of head injury by Barr Collins Chima.

“There’s also the abduction of Publicity Secretary of Idemili NBA Branch, Chukeubuikem Azoro, who is still in the captors’ den since March abduction,” he added.

Nsofor further noted with sadness the abduction of a cleric, Rev. Fr.. Gbulue, who was later freed, regretting that incidents of crimes were not limited to locality and time and needed rejigging for pro-activeness.

While lamenting that his colleagues have been at the receiving end, Nsofor said, “As Social Engineers, lawyers have a duty to serve as bridge between the government and the masses. We demand for accountability of policing and security of lives and property of the citizens.

“The peaceful protest is not to curry pecuniary favour or employment from Government, but to rise against security challenges being aced by the state.

“No fewer than 60 souls, mostly future leaders have been lost to crimes and criminality in Ihiala Local Council Area alone. Unfortunately, government’s efforts to fight crime is not good enough.

“As voiice of the voiceless, NBA can’t keep quiet in the face of seeming total collapse of security and failure of the State governnent to protect lives and property of the ctizenry.”

Responding, Governor Chukwuma Soludo appreciated the lawful and peaceful nature of the protest, assuring that governnent was not sleeping over the secutity threats inherent in kidnappings, cult-related killings and other crimes in the State.

Soludo, represented by his deputy, Dr. Onyeka Ibezim dismissed the tag of existence of Unknown Gunmen, observing that the criminals’ homes were known, given spate of trackings that revealed their communities and abode.

Describing security as a collective responsibility, Ibezim promised to establish synergy with the NBA to chart the path of solutions to the security problems in the State.

Chairman of NBA, Awka Branch, Bona Orakwe observed that security challenge is statewide and called for improved, pro-active measures to nip it in the bud for a better society.

Orakwe who is a one-time House of Assembly member hailed the House for enacting relevant laws to stem the tide of insecurity.

“The protest by lawyers will serve as a pressure to put the government on its toes to up the game and work towards safety and security of the populace.

Speaking earlier on the sideline of the planned protest, an NBA chieftain, Barr Udemezue said the lawyers boycotted court sessions, but opted for the public procession to strengthen the protest over the.killngs of Awa and other heinous crims against the lawyers.

“Safeguard of lives and property is the number one responsibility of government as provided in Section 33 of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 4 of the Police Act,” Udemezue added.

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