Judicial activities at the Federal High Court, Akure, the Ondo State capital, were paralysed on Wednesday following the abduction of one of the judges of the court, Justice Abdul Dogo.
Dogo was reportedly kidnapped on Tuesday by some unknown gunmen at Ibilo town in Edo State when he was returning to Akure from Abuja.
Though the details of how the judge was abducted were still sketchy as of the time of filing this report on Wednesday, a source narrated that bandits waylaid his vehicle on the Okene-Isua Akoko expressway and abducted the judge thereafter.
It was later gathered that few hours after the abduction, the hoodlums had contacted the Dogo family and demanded N50m ransom.
The source said, “The judge is still in the kidnappers’ den because I don’t think the family has been able to pay any ransom to the bandits as at now.”
When our correspondent visited the Akure Federal High Court, on Wednesday, it was observed that the workers were seeing discussing the matter.
A member of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, who spoke on condition of anonymity with our correspondent on the court premises, said the lawyers who had cases in the court, particularly in Justice Dogo’s court, were disappointed on hearing the news of the judge’s abduction.
“It is a sad day today (Wednesday) at the court, no serious activities have taken place today, even lawyers who have cases in court went back sad when they were told about the incident. We are only praying to God for the release of the man (judge), “ he said.
Meanwhile, a human rights group, under the auspices of the Rescue Nigeria Coalition, has called on the federal and state governments to take an urgent action that will lead to Dogo’s freedom.
In a statement issued by the President of the group, Mr Tope Temokun, the group said the ugly incident was an indication that the country was not safe.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Mr Femi Joseph, who confirmed the incident, said the Ondo and Edo commands had swung into action to rescue the victim.
He appealed to anyone with useful information that could lead to the rescue of the judge, and the arrest of the culprits, not to hesitate to let the police know.
Similarly, the Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has called on the Ondo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Undie Adie, to ensure that the victim was rescued unhurt.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr Ojo Oyewamide
The governor advised the CP to work with his Edo State counterpart to rescue the victim.