The Benin Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association(NBA) on Thursday forbade its members from handling cases of kidnapping.
This development was announced on Thursday in a communique signed by Collins Ogiegbaen and Pius Oiwoh, the Chairman and Secretary of the association, in Benin
The resolution of the association was necessiated by the incessant cases of kidnap and attempted kidnap of its members
“The branch hereby orders the immediate withdrawal of services of all lawyers registered with it from defending persons charged with the grievous and felonious offences of kidnapping and armed robbery," read the communique.
“In this regard and for purposes of emphasis, the branch resolves that all lawyers registered with it are forthwith prohibited from appearing for kidnap suspects, either at the police station or in any court within the state.
“That this order for the withdrawal of services to persons charged with the aforementioned offences shall be with immediate effect until otherwise reviewed by a subsequent meeting of the branch. Consequently, any member of the Bar found flouting the resolution/directive shall be heavily sanctioned accordingly."
The branch added: “That the Bar resolves to write to the judges of the criminal division of the high court of the state to dispense speedily with cases of kidnapping and armed robbery pending before them.
“They are also to formally report to the branch counsel who appears indolent or shows lack of capacity or diligence in prosecuting these cases, including members of the Bar who are fond of filing frivolous applications before the court to delay the speedy hearing and determination of these cases, for sanctions.
“The Bar resolves to inflict maximum sanctions and punishment on state counsel who are found to have compromised their briefs or showed lack of capacity or appeared indolent in theprosecution of persons charged with the heinous crimes of kidnapping and armed robbery.
“And on defence counsel who have formed the habit of aiding criminals through unconventional methods and unlawful means to escape the long arm of justice."