The Chief Judge of Delta State, Hon. Justice Marshal Umukoro has stated that the attack on the State High Court Complex along Ibuse road in Asaba, as a fallout of the #EndSARS protests was a setback in the justice delivery system and for over 3,000 cases the Asaba Judicial Division was adjudicating upon.
Hon. Justice Umukoro stated that the arson was perpetrated by criminal elements who enveloped themselves as #EndSARS protesters, while he visited the burnt complex on Monday to ascertain the level of destruction.
In addition, the Chief Judge was accompanied by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Peter Mrakpor, the Commissioner for Housing, Honourable Festus Ochonogor, and some judicial officers, the chief judge said the act was also an impediment in the wheel of justice in one of the busiest judicial divisions in the state.
Meanwhile, it was noted that the commissioner for housing has been directed by the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa to submit the Bill of Quantity (BoQ) for the fixing of the building to enable the State Government to immediately commence the reconstruction of the complex.
Similarly, the Attorney General, Mr. Mrakpor, equally condemned the act and described the wanton destruction of the High Court building as a clog in the wheel of justice.
He noted the courtrooms are sacred and wondered why anyone should attack the judiciary, adding that the judiciary remains the bulwark of fundamental liberties, last bastion, and the beacon of hope for the common man.
Mr. Mrakpor who had earlier visited the Ibusa road office of the Ministry of Justice maintained that destruction was perpetrated by criminals, majority of whom were suspiciously from outside the state who took advantage of the #EndSARS protest to unleash mayhem.
Furthermore, the Chairman of the Asaba branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr.Eseagwu Eze, stated that it was not the building that was attacked but the concept of justice, saying that it was a critical moment for the Asaba Judicial Division and the NBA.
TheNigeriaLawyer recalls that while attacking the Court, hoodlums carted away several exhibits even as registers, case files and other court records and office equipment were engulfed by fire.
In addition, the Ministry of Justice was attacked by hoodlums who smashed windows of the building, destroyed office vehicles parked at the premises, and carted away from some office equipment.