Justice Abdul Dogo who presides over a Federal High Court in Akure has lost his freedom and is now held to ransom for Fifty Million Naira by his abductors who took him at gun point.
Justice Dogo of the Federal High Court Akure in Ondo State was kidnapped along with his driver at the Ibilo/Isua Akoko axis, a border area between Ondo and Edo states, on their way from Abuja to Akure.
Sources say the kidnappers contacted the family members and officials of the Federal High Court in Akure and Abuja to demand the ransom.
Spokesperson to the Ondo State police command also confirmed the incident but said it didn’t happen within his jurisdiction.
The Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN is said to have reached out to the state police command and ask them to collaborate with their Edo and Kogi counterparts to ensure the early release of Justice Dogo.
Governor Akeredolu, in a statement, noted that the conflicting narratives on the location of the Judge’s abduction could disrupt proper intelligence gathering.
A member of Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, said the lawyers who had cases in the court, particularly that of Justice Dogo, were disappointed after hearing the news of the judge’s abduction.
He said: “It was a sad day today at the court and no serious activities have taken place today, as even lawyers who have cases went back sad when they were told about the incident. We are only praying to God for the release of the man unhurt.”
Human rights group, the Rescue Nigeria Coalition, has called on the federal and state governments for urgent action to secure the freedom of the victim. Its president, Tope Temokun, said the ugly incident was an indication that the whole country was not safe .
Mr Temokun added: “This is a national embarrassment and confrontation and we are all in danger, as no one is safe . The kidnap of the judge is once again a reminder to us all that the country is at war against its self.
“It shows that insecurity that is consuming us all now does not know face or tribe or status or religion. It is one challenge that we all need to come together to confront and hold our government to its toes that it is either the government rescue the country now or we all perish.”
Femi Joseph, a spokesman for the Ondo State Police Command, who confirmed the incident, said the judge was abducted in Edo State but saying the two commands have swung to 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, to let the police know.
Mr Joseph said: “We are working in tandem with our colleagues in whose jurisdiction this incident happened, to ensure that His Lordship is rescued unhurt and also apprehend the perpetrators.”