Chinedu Eze in Lagos and James Sowole in Akure
A judge of the Federal High Court in Akure, Justice Abdul Dogo and his driver were Friday night released from kidnappers’ den, five days after gunmen abducted them at Ibilo, Edo/Isua Akoko axis, Ondo state.
But in its reaction, the House of Representatives condemned Dogo’s abduction, saying the incident threatened the core foundation of the nation’s judiciary.
A police source confirmed the release of the judge and his driver yesterday, disclosing that the victims were released at about 11:00 p.m. on Friday, though did not confirm if any ransom was paid to secure his freedom.
The abductors insisted that a ransom of N50 million should be paid before they would release their captives.
According to the source, the judge and his driver have regained their freedom at about 11:00 p.m. Friday night. He has been reunited with his family in Abuja. But we did not know whether a ransom was paid or how much was paid.
Condemning Dogo’s abduction, the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Hon. Onofiok Luke expressed the displeasure of the lower chambers at the incident.
The lawmaker said: “We join our voices as members of the House of Representative Committee on Federal Judiciary together with the growing voices of eminent Nigerians to condemn in totality Dogo’s abduction by unknown gunmen.
“The abduction of Dogo is not only yet another sad occurrence in nation’s history but has the remote tendency to threaten the core foundation of our judiciary system,” he said.
Luke described the abduction as sad, preposterous and totally unacceptable.
He said his committee would take the abduction to the floor of the House of Representatives, to the Inspector General of Police and the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
He promised “to raise the incident at the floor of the House during plenary. As a committee, we will pay a visit to the Inspector-General of Police, and Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to register our displeasure over this sad incident.
“In the meantime, we urge the security agency to arrest and prosecute the kidnappers. I also urge the security agencies to step up their preventive and combative strategies of crime fighting in our nation.”
Reacting to Dogo’s release yesterday, Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu commended the security agencies for rescuing the judge and his driver.
In a statement, the governor said the abduction of the judge marked another disturbing moment in the perennial cases of kidnap that had pervaded the country.
He explained that the incident undoubtedly “heightened fears and almost created uncertainty. But the early measures deployed by the security agencies further rekindled hopes and confidence.
“The security agents deserved our collective commendation and encouragement at all times even as every Nigerian has a responsibility to be part of the intelligence gathering process to combat crime and criminality.”