Residents of Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital and its environs has expressed worry and their displeasure over the shutdown of different courts in Abakaliki, Afikpo and Onueke following directive from its National Executive Council, NEC to ensure courts activities were shut down for two days.
When Leadership visited the Ebonyi State judiciary complex along the old Ogoja road Abakaliki at about 9 am, it was observed that the state High court, the Magistrate court and that of the state Industrial court were all shut down while those that have cases in court were seen in clusters discussing the shutdown.
One of them, Mr. Chukwuma Ugbo who described the shut down as unfortunate said that he had to travel from Ikwo to Abakaliki to attend to a case involving him and his elder brother which was last heard about 2 months ago adding that the shutdown would delay the speedy trial of the matter.
He regretted that he would still have to go back to Ikwo local Government Area of the state without achieving anything pointing out that, the injunction his lawyer intended to get to stop his brother from encroaching into his land has been set back.
A legal practitioner in the state who pleaded anonymity expressed concerned over the total shut down and called for its immediate reversal as its continued shut down would affect the dispension of justice.
The shutdown was in compliance to the directive of the National Executive Council, NEC of the Nigeria Barr Association for its members across the country to protest the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen by the Federal Government
Addressing a press conference in Abakaliki, the Chairman of NBA, Abakaliki Branch, Barr. Festus Nweke who described the action taken against Onnoghen as a full blown invitation to anarchy adding that the Federal government was not the appropriate body to discipline a judicial officer in the country.
“The situation is that lawyers have boycotted court sitting in the state for two days as a way of registering our reservations for the action taken against the CJN.
“None of the court is opened. The action of the federal government is an aberration of the law. The federal government is not the appropriate body to punish a judicial officer. It is an invitation to full blown arnachy if we allow it to stand. There are established rules. Let the federal government follow the established due process.
“NBA Abakaliki is in support of its NEC’s resolution. A lawless society is not what we want. We sent our members to monitor Afikpo and other places and I can tell you that in Ebonyi, it total shut down. Not even customary court sat today”
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