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NBA bars lawyers from defending suspected killers of abducted colleague in Edo

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin branch, has said no lawyer in Edo and Delta states should offer legal representation to the 10 suspects currently being held by the Edo State police command for the abduction and murder of one of their own, 41-year-old Osobase Omo-Iyoha, father of four who was kidnapped on May 9, 2020, but whose decomposing body was exhumed by the police on Tuesday, June 2.

The body said it would severely sanction any of its members who represent the suspected killers of the Benin-based lawyer. Omo-Iyoha was kidnapped, killed and buried in a shallow grave in Benin over a land dispute. This was contained in a press statement signed by its secretary, Pius Oiwoh, and made available to journalists.

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He said: “No lawyer in Benin and, indeed the Midwest Bar Forum, should offer his service in the defence of the suspects as this will attract severe sanctions, including that the name of such colleague will be put in the black book of the bar. A committee has been set up to monitor and assist in the investigation and prosecution of the six suspects who have made confessional statements to the police.”

Reacting, past NBA Assistant General Secretary, Okey Leo Ohagba, said: “The case of Omo-Iyoha brings to fore the tragic realities of our failed security system. Government has failed Omo-Iyoha of that duty of protecting his life and property, the same way the government have failed us repeatedly and appears overwhelmed by rising insecurity in the land. From emerging reports, the assailants of our late colleague are well known and allegedly notorious in atrocious acts.

“While I commend the police and other security agencies for the investigation breakthrough so far, having arrested some kingpins, I think it is high time our government and security agencies became more proactive than this reactive approach in policing this nation. The perpetrators must face the consequences of their evil actions. The government must wake from her slumber and take issues of security more seriously in Nigeria,” he said.

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