Gunmen invade three Benue Courts, hold Justice Abounu, lawyers hostage

Perpetrators of the act would be fished out- Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa

Reports from Benue State say no fewer than 10 gunmen invaded included Benue State High Court 9, Chief Magistrate’s Court and the Upper Area Court on Wednesday.

The gunmen who shot into the air held a sitting judge hostage.

They caused panic in the capital city of Makurdi as residents fled in various directions, the News Agency of Nigeria says.

According to The Punch, the gunmen stormed the premises of the three courts which were about 500 meters away from state police headquarters around 8am.

It was gathered at the Benue State High Court 9 that the Presiding Judge, Justice Mary Abounu, who is the wife of deputy governor, was already seated when the gunmen stormed her court and held her and the people in her court hostage.

Magistrate Isaac Ajim said, “Actually, the first court the hoodlums visited was the Magistrate’s Court 1. They broke into the courtroom and the chambers, where they carted away one computer, a printer, a generator as well as files for various cases.

“After the criminals were done with my court, they proceeded to High Court 9, presided over by the wife of the deputy governor, Justice Mary Abounu, and carted away a refrigerator, three stabilisers, a set of computer, window blinds and left behind empty bottles of drinks.”

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At the Upper Area Court, the registrar, Mrs. Sarah Gboji, described the invaders as robbers, saying, “The thieves made away with N280,000.”

It was also gathered that the criminals after they had wreaked havoc, locked the courtrooms with the padlocks they brought with them.

Confirming the invasion, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa, who condemned the act, appealed to youths to always engage in meaningful ventures rather than indulge into criminality.

Gusa also urged Benue State youths to embrace the amnesty programme of the state governor instead of engaging in criminal activities.

He, however, assured that the perpetrators of the act would be fished out and punished appropriately.

Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu, confirmed the invasion, saying three security guards had already been invited for interrogation.

He assured that the culprits would be arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.


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