Mr. Moses Eguavoen, Police Public Relations Officer of the state, said that on Monday, Justice Okungbowa had left Benin City for Abuja with his driver, and nothing has been heard of them since.
However, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo, Police Commissioner of the state, did not confirm the assumption that the Judge was kidnapped, calling his disappearance “a case of missing person”.
For the meantime, lawyers of the Benin branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) have staged a protest at the Edo State Police Command office and the Department of Security Service (DSS). The lawyers, under the leadership of their Chairman Mr. Oriame Akene, declared the latest ‘kidnap’ as ‘one too many,’ and urged the security agencies to take action. They also requested the release of the abducted judge unhurt.
Responding to the lawyers’ demands, Mr. Moses Eguavoen, the PPRO, said the police are investigating the matter to ensure the positive outcome.
He added there was no evidence of kidnapping, as the possible criminals, if any, were yet to issue a public statement or demand ransom.
Naij.com reminds that less than three weeks ago, lawyer and human rights activist Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has been released from captivity, after thugs kidnapped him on the same Benin-Abuja road.
Moreover, the latest incident may be another case of violence directed against lawyers. The wife, daughter and driver of Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour of the Supreme Court were also recently kidnapped in Benin, Edo State. The gunmen allegedly ambushed them on their way to Benin.