By Ajuwa Victor, Asaba
Justice Umukoro made the declaration at the valedictory special court session in honour of Mr. Kennedy Ofuezuem Anni Nwashindi, an Asaba based legal practitioner, who was abducted on 16th April, 2019, and subsequently murdered by his abductors after paying the demanded ransom.
The Chief Judge, who was represented by Justice Tessy Diai, condemned in strong terms, the gruesome murder of the late legal practitioner, saying that the murder of Mr. Ofuezuem Nwashindi, had brought to the front burner of national discourse the heinous crime of kidnapping and murder, which he noted, had assumed a terrifying resurgence and dimensions in recent times.
He observed, “The mounting appetite of our youth for these crimes is alarming and it is not unconnected with the get-rich-quick syndrome that has become so pervasive in our society today.
“The syndrome has lamentably infiltrated our families, our educational system, our state institutions, the corridors of power and even our churches and mosques.” he added.
The number one judicial officers, who called for a state of emergency against get-rich-quick syndrome, described late Ofuezuem Nwashindi as an achiever, who enjoyed illustrious career as a legal practitioner and religious minister, despite his abrupt departure.
According to him, some of the initiatives taken by the judiciary towards a more effective and efficient criminal justice system in the state include creation of additional criminal divisions of the state High Court, deliberate effort to implement sections 251, 252 and 254 of the Delta state Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2017 (ACJ ), providing for witness claims, and granting special administrative permission to police and Department of State Services to file affidavits and processes pertaining to criminal cases being investigated or prosecuted without need to pay filing fees out of their own pocket.
The Solicitor General and permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Mr. N.D.F. Momah; Mr. Chike Onyemenam, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and the chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Asaba branch, Mr. Freddie Eruli-Ede; paid glowing tributes to the late Ofuezuem Nwashindi, describing him as honest, reliable legal practitioner and perfect gentleman.
They charged security agents to beef up security in the state and arrest and prosecute perpetrators of the dastardly act even as they noted that there was nexus between corruption, unemployment, poverty and crime.
Judges, members of the Nigerian Bar Association, legislators, including the member representing Oshimili North Constituency in State House of Assembly, Honourable Princess Pat Ajudua, were sympathisers present to pay last respect to the deceased.