- Court Shut Down For Fear Of Further Attack
The presiding Magistrate of the Magistrates’ Court 3 Mgbidi in Imo State was recently attacked by an irate mob for refusing to grant bail to one David Ndulo in a charge of Attempt to Murder a kinsman contrary to section 320 (2) of the Criminal Code.
According to reports, the irate mob of persons who were seen carrying guns and other dangerous weapons stampeded the court when the said accused person was being arraigned by the police in court threatening to kill the magistrate if he refused to grant bail to the said accused person.
The situation in the place went out of hand when the angry mob started lynching the complainant and those suspected to be behind the case in the court premises and in the presence of the magistrate.
However, the learned magistrate courageously damned the threats and refused to grant bail to the accused person saying that his court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the charge.
Consequently, the accused person who hails from Awo-Omamma in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State was ordered to be remanded in the Owerri Prisons pending when the case would be brought before the High Court which is said to be the proper court to entertain the matter.
Regrettably, it took the intervention of the combine team of police in the place and the ones from Owerri to whisk the magistrate away from the court at the end of the court proceedings as the irate mob wanted to lynch the magistrate in the court premises.
Subsequently, feelers have it that since the incident, the mob has been trailing the magistrate possibly for a reprisal attack.
It is reported that from the day of the incident till the time of this report, the magistrate in question has not sat possibly out of fear of being harmed by the miscreants.
It is said that the accused person had shot his kinsman on his private part with a gun and that the victim is now lying critically ill out of the severe injuries sustained from the gun shot which brought about the case.
In his reaction, an Owerri based legal practitioner Barr. Emperor Iwuala when contacted, condemned the act which he said was unlawful and could breed anarchy in any system.
‘I am aware that Mgbidi Magesterial Division is a very volatile area as some people from the place do not have much regards for the law. This attack on a magistrate must be dealt with seriously because it can destroy justice administration in the Imo State and breed anarchy. On the other hand, this case goes to justify that the slash in the emoluments of magistrates in Imo State and removal of their security allowances by the Imo State Government is very wrong as magistrates are always exposed to very big risks in the course of their duties…’
Barr Iwuala however, called on the judiciary, Nigerian Bar Association, stakeholders and security agencies to protect the embattled magistrate, courts and the judiciary in general.