Chief Rita Lori Ogbebor
An Itsekiri leader, Chief Rita Lori Ogbebor, has said she has been vindicated over her incessant cries over the alleged abduction and kidnap of Judges in Delta State, alleging that there was more to the case of kidnapping of the Judges, who were about to deliver vital judgment.
In a statement she personally signed, Ogbebor hinged her current complaint on a newspaper report, which carried a story captioned: ‘Kidnappers Prevent Judge from Sitting for Two Months, Demand N20m Ransom’.
According to the report, Justice Flora Azinge of Otor-Udu High Court, Delta State, “had not been able to sit for two months because kidnappers had asked her to pay a ransom of N20 million or she would be abducted.”
The kidnappers were reported to have told the judge that “many of her colleagues had paid similar monies , and that if she fails to comply, her life would be in danger,” and thus frightening the woman and preventing her from going to her court for two months.
But, Ogbebor in the statement lamented that: “When a similar matter occurred in Delta State in August, I shouted myself hoarse, but nobody seemed to listen. Now, it is reaching epidemic proportion.
“When the Okereke people went to court against the government over a parcel of land, and an interlocutory injunction was to be delivered, the judge was allegedly kidnapped on his way to court and the case has been a subject of incessant adjournment till date.”
Ogbebor, who cried foul and petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the Police, said nobody listened to her, expressing worry that the similar case was the late one about Justice Flora Azinge.”
In the two cases, Ogbebor alleged that indications pointed to the fact that the judges were either kidnapped or threatened to be kidnapped to stop them from giving judgment on the matter that concerned the plaintiffs and the state government that was the defendant because according to her, the government is still erecting structures on the land in dispute between it and the Okereke people.
She asked rhetorically that “if a High Court Judge was prevented from doing his duties to the country, then, aren’t we heading for anarchy?” adding that “even when I threatened to go to court if nothing was done on the matter, mum, sadly is the word even with no indication that the matter is being investigated!”
Now that another Judge was being threatened and intimidated by kidnappers, to the point of not being able to sit for two months, Ogbebor reasoned that “justice is being arrested and I am therefore vindicated.”
“When the government has taken the law into its hand, supported by the Joint Task Force, why should anybody risk his or her life by going to court?” she stated, stressing that, “there is no guarantee of justice again in Delta State and the state is descending into anarchy.”