There are indications that the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom state, Hon Justice Godwin Abraham may order the immediate relocation of all courts from Ukanafun to a safer jurisdiction following the increasing insecurity in the local government area.
This piece of information emerged Friday July 14, 2017, following a meeting between the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association, Uyo branch, led by the branch Chairman, Eno-Obong Akpan Esq, and the state Chief Judge in his chambers at the Judiciary Headquarters Uyo
The Chief Judge in response to the fears of insecurity expressed by the NBA said he had already taken a decision to make adequate arrangements for the safety of lawyers and litigants attending court at the Ukanafun Judicial Division, adding that the courts in Ukanafun may temporarily be relocated to Abak for safety reasons, adding that safety was of paramount essence.
The Chief Judge, while congratulating the new executive members for their victory at the last branch bar election said that the judicial arm of government would continue to provide enabling environment for lawyers to operate, and solicited the cooperation of bar members towards ensuring smooth dispensation of justice in the state.
Earlier in her speech at the meeting, the Chairman of NBA Uyo branch, Eno-Obong Akpan, thanked the CJ for receiving her team at such a short notice. She said that the urgency of the meeting was to quickly address the insecurity issues in Ukanafun as they affect lawyers. She hinted the CJ of the resolve of lawyers, who attended court in the area on July 12, 2017, to boycott proceedings at Ukanafun until the lingering security challenges are sorted out.
The NBA branch Chairman informed the Chief Judge that the bar branch had recently issued a statement condemning the brutal murder of a lawyer, Mfon Etukudoh, who was killed recently in Ukanafun, and urged the state government to take every step towards resolving the murder and bringing all those involved to face the law.
She then appealed to “His Lordship to urgently reach out to the state government to direct the security agencies to strengthen security in the LGA for the protection of lives and property”,