A presiding judge of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division, Justice Rita Pemu, has escaped kidnap attempt.
Secretary of the Nigeria Bar Association, Owerri Branch, Chinedu Agu, said the justice’s driver is still missing.
According to him, the incident happened on Monday along Azia-Orsumoghu-Ihiala road.
He explained in a statement that the justice escaped amid gunshots by the kidnappers who could not identify her.
The statement was titled, “The presiding justice of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division, Hon. Justice Rita Pemu, escapes from the snares of kidnappers”.
Agu said, “Yesterday, Sunday, February 20, 2022, the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, while traveling to Owerri from Benin City, was kidnapped along Azia-Orsumoghu-Ihiala road by kidnappers about 11 am.
“When the Chairman of the Bar, J.I. Ogamba and the Secretary, Chinedu Agu, paid His Lordship a visit at 5 pm today, the Secretariat gathered that the kidnappers double-crossed His Lordship’s vehicle, disembarking her and ordering her to prostrate on the road while pointing guns menacingly on her head.
Justice Pemu, who by happenstance was rather in her Hiace Bus instead of her SUV and was dressed in a simple, spartan and free-flowing gown was mistaken by the kidnappers as one of ‘oga’s stewards’, as they kept demanding to know in which car their ‘oga’ (boss) was.
While she was marched into a thick forest, one of the kidnappers, the Secretariat gathered, was boasting that he would have wasted their oga if he were there.
“As his Lordship was marched into the bush-like a death-destined sheep to the slaughter, gunshots and concomitant cries of anguish pervaded the bush, which heightened her apprehension.
“As the kidnappers backed out for his Lordship to continue the Golgotha walk into the depth of the bush, where perhaps she would face the doomed fate of others, she detoured and took safety elsewhere, and hurried back to Orlu town in disguise, from where she found her way into Owerri.
“As of the time of filing this report, His Lordship’s official cars, her driver, her personal property inside the car are yet to be found.
“As we condemn the spate of kidnapping and unsettling height of insecurity in the state, we thank God for the life of Hon. Justice Rita Pemu.”