Members of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Kebbi Branch have announced they’re boycotting the courts to draw attention to the blatant disregard for rule of law and threat to the lives of lawyers and judicial officers by Yan Sakai armed group in Kebbi State.
This development is contained in a communique issued by the NBA Kebbi Branch after an emergency meeting and signed by its Chairman, Kabir Aliyu, Esq. and Secretary, Aminu Hassan Esq on Friday.
The communique titled Resolution of lawyers in Zuru for interferance in the administration of justice and threat to the lives of judges, legal practitioners and litigants in zuru emirate by ‘yan-sakai’ stated that:
“It is noteworthy that the Association had made several efforts to ensure that all the stakeholders in the Administration of Justice and Kebbi State Government take necessary steps in curtailing the unlawful activity and lingering impasse of ‘Yan Sakai who crossed all the boundaries of Rule of Law, including resort to extra-judicial killings but to no avail.”
“The ‘Yan Sakai is an armed ethnic militia in Zuru Emirate established as a vigilante group with the sole objective of curtailing the activities of bandtits, abductors and cattle rustlers in the Emirate.
“However, the group has no regulations to guide and control its activities. Therefore, the group metamorphosed into something else thereby usurping the powers of constitutted authorities by arresting, investigating, adjudicating, and carrying out extra judicial executions. The group sits on appeal to cases already adjudicated upon by the High Court and Court of Appeal.
“Sequel to incessant complaints against activities of the group, the ‘Yan Sakai communicated through Zuru Emirate Council that they would abstain from interfering with Administration of Justice but have reneged on the undertaking.
The illegal activities of ‘Yan Sakai are quite numerous and have taken another dimension and most recent of which is the ugly incidence of 26th day of January, 2021, where a very senior member of the Association in person of Danjumma Rango, Esq was abducted, tortured and threatened to be killed by the group for a matter relating to land dispute pending before High Court of Justice, Zuru Division in which the members of the group were interested on a party against whom the Counsel is appearing.
“In the whole, the group equally prevents litigants from attending courts or obey court orders; abducts and kills witnesses all aimed at aiding land grab. Now, Court’s judgments, summons, warrants, and orders are no longer respected, obeyed and cannot be executed for fear of intimidation by the group.
“Based on the foregoing, the Association concluded that the lives of its members, Judges, Judicial Staff and litigants are in grave danger as a result of the activities of ‘Yan Sakai.
“Therefore, the Association hereby in strong terms condemned such acts of lawlessness and resolved that:
“Lawyers throughout the state will from the 3rd day of February, 2021 to 24th February, 2021 boycott all courts in the State for three weeks to show our dismay on the lingering issue;
“We call on the Federal Government, Kebbi State Government and Zuru Emirate Council to address the impasse forthwith;
We also call on all the relevant security agencies to be up and doing in containing the excesses of ‘Yan Sakai.
For safety reasons and in solidarity with our members in the Emirate, we call on the Heads of Courts (Hon Chief Judge and Hon. Grand Kadi) to shut down all Courts in the State indefinitely until safety of Judges, magistrates, lawyers, litigants and court staff can be guaranteed.”