MAZI AFAM OSIGWE, SAN Condemn the Abduction of Mr. Ejike Ugwu, Esq.”

“MAZI AFAM OSIGWE, SAN Condemn the Abduction of Mr. Ejike Ugwu, Esq.”

I condemn the abduction of Mr. Ejike Ugwu, a distinguished and active member of the Nigerian Bar Association, Enugu Branch. It has now been six harrowing days since Mr. Ugwu was forcibly taken by unidentified men around the Emene area on the outskirts of Enugu. The alarming rate at which lawyers have become targets for abduction by gunmen calls for serious concern. Over the last few months, there have been confirmed reports of lawyers being abducted across the country. In some instances, they are gruesomely murdered; others are fortunate to return alive but not without parting with substantial sums of money, often raised from friends, associates, and in some cases, members of the NBA branch of the abductee. These incidents across the country are a recipe for crisis that requires immediate and sincere action from all levels of government and society.

Lawyers, who are the voice of the voiceless, have become targets for gunmen. This is worrisome and requires the concerted efforts of all, especially the Government, which is constitutionally responsible for protecting the lives and properties of its citizens.

This abduction of our colleague is condemned in the strongest terms. If this worrying trend of abducting lawyers is an attempt at silencing us or stifling the legal profession, the criminals are in for a shock because the resolve of the Nigerian lawyer is as strong as ever to defend the rule of law.

This reprehensible act is a stark violation of Mr. Ugwu’s fundamental human rights and an affront to the entire legal community. This incident is deeply troubling, and the growing insecurity plagues our country. The abduction of any individual, let alone a member of our esteemed association, is intolerable and must be met with swift and decisive action.

I call on the authorities to intensify their efforts to locate Mr. Ugwu and ensure his safe return. The security agencies must employ all necessary resources and strategies to bring the perpetrators to justice. We demand immediate action to ensure the safe return of Ejike Ugwu, Esq., and adequate measures to ensure the safety and security of lawyers as we go about our legal responsibilities to our clients, for which we have sworn an oath to uphold.

My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Ugwu, his family, and members of the Nigerian Bar Association, Enugu Branch, during this traumatic period.

Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN

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