by Isi Esene
A newly appointed judge of the Delta State High Court, Justice Marcel Okoh, was yesterday abducted by gun-wielding youths at Oria-Abraka on his way to the oil rich city of Warri.
Justice Okoh was the former director general of Public Prosecution (DPP) of Delta State and the vacation judge for High Court 4, Warri, Delta State.
Mr. Charles Muka, who is the spokesman of the Delta State Police Command said, “We have recovered his SUV and a manhunt is on for his kidnappers.”
“Information at our disposal indicated that his captors are money-demanding kidnappers, but as at 2pm [Tuesday], they were yet to contact the family for ransom,” Muka made known.
According to the Vanguard Newspapers, the Sports Utility Vehicle which the justice was riding in was reported to have been trailed from Umunede, along the Benin-Asaba Expressway until it was double-crossed at Oria-Abraka in Ethiope East Local Government Area.
While commenting on the kidnap, former minister of State for Education, Kenneth Gbagi said: “With the kidnap today [yesterday] of Justice Marcel Okoh, I am further vindicated in my call for a state of emergency in Delta State. Deltans cannot afford to be under the rule of gunmen; we need a total overhaul of our security system.”
“I am happy that after my lecture on the spate of kidnapping in the state, the governor has opted for one of the solutions by saying he wants to do mass employment. I want massive employment of Deltans, the government should mop up and register all the unemployed in local government areas in the state and get jobs for them.
“If jobs cannot be immediately provided, they should be paid a monthly allowance of N10,000 for their upkeep, while government helps them to get a means of livelihood. The state is rich enough to do this. It is after providing them jobs that government can start separating the real criminals from those who were forced into criminality by joblessness,” Gbagi said.
Observers believe a lot still needs to be done by Nigeria’s security agencies to curb the increase in violent crimes across the country.