By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
The judiciary in Anambra State has warned that it would not tolerate any act of intimidation, threats and harassment on its members.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Prof Ilochi Okafor on Monday expressed disgust at the level of harassment, threats and intimidation meted against Lawyers in recent times.
He made the statement at a special court session held at the Anambra Judiciary headquarters to herald the commencement of the 2018/2019 legal year in the state.
Addressing members of the bar as the most senior advocate at the event, Okafor regretted that senior police officers, politicians as well as members of the public have in the recent times taken to the intimidation of judicial officers.
Okafor noted that most Lawyers have passed through the experience several times in Anambra, added “We must not let this continue to happen. Threats, killings and physical assault are serious threats of the judiciary.
“A Judge in the state was once threatened through a verifiable phone number yet the police did nothing about it.
“The same judge was accosted while going home from work and held hostage in his car.
“There is another case of a magistrate who was bullied by a police DPO for daring to disobey his order in a criminal matter he was handling.
“These acts of intimidation must stop. The judiciary can not be cowed or intimidated. The bench and bar must fight this together, because if we are caged, justice is caged.
He urged the honourable chief judge of the state to meet with other stakeholders to work towards scheduling a meeting with the state Commissioner of Police, CP and Governor Obiano to profer solution to the issue.
In his speech, the Chief judge of the state, Justice Peter Umeadi reeled out the achievements of the state judiciary within the year 2018.
He used the occasion to reel out a long list of achievements by the state judiciary within the legal year.
The Chief Judge who presided over the special court session also commiserated with families of 12 members of the judiciary who lost their lives within the past legal year.