Nigeria: Appeal Court Judge, Iheme-Nwosu, Regains Freedom

15 November 2019

After approximately 14 days in captivity, the abducted judge of the Court of Appeal in Benin City, Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu, has been released.

THISDAY gathered from a reliable source close to the family of the judge that she was released in Benin City on Wednesday night.

The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Danmallam, who confirmed the release of the judge, said she was rescued from kidnappers and had been reunited with her family.

Danmallam did not give details of the circumstances that led to her release, and if any ransom.

All efforts made by THISDAY to get members of the family of the judge to give details of how she was released, and if any ransom was paid to set her free proved abortive.

A close family member who spoke to THISDAY said they were happy that she was released unharmed.

Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu, who is one of the justices of the Court of Appeal in Benin-City, was attacked by gunmen along the Benin-Agbor Highway on her way to an assignment on October 29.

Her police orderly was shot and killed during the incident.

Justice Iheme-Nwosu served for several years at the Imo State High Court in Owerri before her elevation to the Court of Appeal.

Her kidnap had sparked protests from lawyers in Imo and Edo States who called on the federal government to intervene and rescue her alive.

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Tuesday had lamented the continued captivity of the judge, saying it was disheartening and distressing.

In a statement signed by NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), the association reportedly said it was sad that after 13 days in captivity, not a word was heard from relevant government agencies or any of the security and law enforcement agencies on efforts to secure her safe release.

It stated that if it were other climes, daily bulletin reports by relevant authorities in regard to incidents are taken for granted.

"It is of great concern to the NBA and very disheartening and distressing that almost a fortnight after the reprehensible kidnap of Honourable Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu on October 29, 2019, not a word has been heard from relevant governments or any of their security and law enforcement agencies on efforts to secure her safe release and return.

"In other climes, daily bulletin reports by relevant authorities in regard to momentous and heart-rending incidents such as we currently face is routine and taken for granted."

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