Gunmen hold judge, lawyers hostage in court

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No fewer than 10 gunmen stormed three courts in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, on Wednesday when they held a sitting judge hostage.

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The gunmen, who shot into the air, caused panic in the capital city as residents fled in various directions, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The courts the gunmen invaded included Benue State High Court 9, Chief Magistrate’s Court and the Upper Area Court.

An eyewitness told our correspondent that the gunmen stormed the premises of the three courts, which were about 500 meters away from state police headquarters around 8am.

It was gathered at the Benue State High Court 9 that the Presiding Judge, Justice Mary Abounu, who is the wife of deputy governor, was already seated when the gunmen stormed her court and held her and the people in her court hostage.

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“Actually, the first court the hoodlums visited was the Magistrate’s Court 1. They broke into the courtroom and the chambers, where they carted away one computer, a printer, a generator as well as files for various cases,” said Isaac Ajim, a Magistrate.

Ajim said: “After the criminals were done with my court, they proceeded to High Court 9, presided over by the wife of the deputy governor, Justice Mary Abounu, and carted away a refrigerator, three stabilisers, a set of computer, window blinds and left behind empty bottles of drinks.”

At the Upper Area Court, the Registrar, Sarah Gboji, described the invaders as robbers, saying: “The thieves made away with N280,000.”

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It was also gathered that the criminals after they had wreaked havoc, locked the courtrooms with the padlocks they brought with them.

Confirming the invasion, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa, who condemned the act, appealed to youths to always engage in meaningful ventures rather than indulge into criminality.

Gusa also urged Benue State youths to embrace the amnesty programme of the state governor instead of engaging in criminal activities.

He, however, vowed that the perpetrators of the act would be fished out and punished appropriately.

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Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu, said three security guards had already been invited for interrogation.

Yamu promised that the culprits would be arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

4 thoughts on “Gunmen hold judge, lawyers hostage in court

  1. For goodness sake, when shall we Africans be able to put our acts together and do things right
    Even in this 21st century, some criminals can afford such length of time to go from court to court holding the judges and others hostage without the security agents reacting quickly enough to round up those pigs
    Here in UK it will take less than 5-10 mins for the police armed squad to suround those criminals, with police snipers taking position on high rise buildings in readiness to take out the invaders one after the other
    But these vandals even had enough time to attack three different courts and still was able to get away just like that
    This is a big shame

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  2. It is embarrassing and disgraceful to the Police to hear that it is about 500mts to the Police OFFICE shame!!!

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