Lawyers Protest, Shun Anambra Courts Over Colleagues’ Murder, Kidnap


BY ONYEKACHUKWU IBEZIM – In a protest against the gruesome murder of the Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ihiala Branch and Principal State Counsel, Peter Awa, lawyers in Anambra State have started a week-long boycott of all courts in the state.

Confirmed reports by the NBA indicated that Awa was shockingly murdered by unidentified gunmen at Eke Umudioka, Okija, on Sunday.

This is as the NBA members also boycotted all courts in the State over the kidnapping of a state-based lawyer, Chukwubuikem Azoro last week.

It was gathered that some unidentified gunmen abducted Azoro around the Abagana area in the Njikoka Local Government Area of the state over a week ago and to date, his whereabouts remain unknown

This cold shoulder action by the lawyers ultimately disrupted the courts’ sittings with many cases earlier scheduled for hearing on Wednesday being moved forward indefinitely.

According to an official memo signed by the Chairman of the Committee of Chairmen and Secretaries, NBA Branches, Anambra State, I.C. Nsofor, and sent to all branches of NBA in the state, the reason for boycotting the Courts was due to the recent spate of kidnapping and killing of lawyers in the state.

In reminding the lawyers that their colleague and Secretary of the NBA Idemili branch, C. J. S Azoro, is still held captive after being abducted early this month, the memo further said; “As if that was not enough, the Vice Chairman of NBA Ihiala Branch and Principal State Counsel, Awa P. Awa, Esq was gruesomely murdered by unidentified gunmen at Okija on Sunday, May 19, 2024. These are the most recent of the attacks on lawyers.

“The recent resurgence of insecurity in the state and targeted attacks on the Bar and the Bench is worrisome as lawyers are fast becoming endangered species. In consequence thereof, following the emergency meeting of the Committee of Chairmen and Secretaries of the Bar branches in Anambra State on Monday, May 20, 2024, it is resolved as follows: there shall be a boycott of courts in Anambra State by lawyers from Tuesday, May 21, 2024, to Monday, May 27, 2024.

“This is to enable lawyers in the state to protest and address the state of insecurity in the state as there is a palpable fear of insecurity in the state by lawyers and no one knows who may be next.”

Additionally, the memo said all NBA members in Anambra State will on Thursday, May 23, 2024, embark on a peaceful protest, followed by a press conference, and they are expected to converge at judiciary headquarters, in their High Court attire, without wigs and gowns.

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