James Sowole in Akure
A Federal High Court judge serving in Akure, Ondo State, Justice Abdul Dogo, was on Tuesday abducted by gunmen.
Dogo was said to have been abducted along with his driver at Ibillo, a border town between Edo and Ondo states while on their way from Abuja to Akure.
A source closed to the federal judiciary in Akure confirmed the incident that was corroborated by two of the lawyers who were in his court for hearing of their cases.
One of the lawyers also told journalists that the kidnappers had contacted family members and officials of the Federal High Court in Akure and Abuja, demanding N50 million ransom.
It was gathered that the police orderly that was attached to the judge did not accompany him on the journey.
Reacting to the incident, Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ojo Oyewamide, said it received the report with shock.
The governor said notwithstanding that the unpleasant incident happened outside the territory of Ondo State, the kidnap of any Nigerian anywhere must elicit a pan-Nigerian reaction and empathy.
The governor therefore charged Ondo State Police Command to synergise with its Edo and Kogi Commands to effect the early release of Dogo.
Confirming the incident Ondo State Police Command, in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Femi Joseph, empathised with the family of the abducted judicial officer.
He said: “As much as we empathise with the family of the victim, the Command wants to make it clear that the incident did not happen anywhere in Ondo State.
“The incident actually happened in Ibilo, Edo State. However, we are working in tandem with our colleagues in whose jurisdiction this incident happened to ensure that His Lordship is rescued unhurt and also apprehend the perpetrators.
“We appeal to anyone with useful information that could lead to his rescue and the arrest of the culprits not to hesitate to let the police know.
“The Ondo State Police Command hereby enjoins the good people of the state to go about their normal businesses as we are working to ensure that citizens of the state do not only enjoy the ‘ember’ months, but also enjoy a peaceful atmosphere throughout the forthcoming yuletide.”