The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA Confluence Bar, Lokoja Branch, on Monday, rained accolades on Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, citing him as Judiciary-friendly, human rights savvy, and Rule of Law compliant.

He received encomiums at the 2021 Law Week organized by the Lokoja Branch of the NBA, which was held at Reverton Hotel, where he was ably represented by his Deputy, Chief (Dr.) Edward Onoja.

The Lawyers took turns to commend Governor Bello for working assiduously with the Judicial Arm whilst ensuring the smooth transition of Chief Judges devoid of infractions, with the utmost respect to the Rule of Law.

They praised his responsive security measures that have kept criminals at bay in the State, passing as a template for the other Governors to emulate.

Delivering a Keynote Address on the theme: “The Future of Nigeria and the Challenges of Insecurity,” Chief Onoja regretted that innocent Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, religion, gender, class, and profession, remain sufferers of crime, citing President Muhammadu Buhari as; “If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria, “paraphrasing thus; “If we don’t kill Crime and Insecurity, Crime and Insecurity will kill Nigeria.”

He said narratives that had formerly tagged Kogi as the Kidnap Capital of Nigeria had changed, credited to matching words with actions; equipping the security agencies with adequate facilities, leveraging ICTs, and working in synergy with security agencies, traditional rulers, local hunters, and community residents to take the fight to criminals’ dens.

“Upon assuming office, I didn’t send my aides to the den of kidnappers. I led at the forefront and relying on verified intelligence, we took the fight to the criminals which currently puts Kogi as one of Nigeria’s safest states.

“Despite the recent pockets of coordinated attacks on our sterling performance, we reiterate that Kogi is not and can never be a breeding ground for criminals. They can run, they can hide, but we will smoke them out,” he warned.

He lauded the Judiciary for its contributory roles in the State accounting his visit to the Federal Correctional Centre in Kabba, the Obaro of Kabba, HRM Solomon Owoniyi, on the heels of attacks on the Facility, complained of a worrying 80% misdemeanors who were awaiting trials for over 3 years, calling on the Judiciary to weigh into the situation.

Legal Eggheads at the event included the Kogi State Chief Judge, President, Customary Court of Appeal, Hon. Grand Khadi, Kogi State Sharia Court of Appeal, State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, NBA President, NBA Chairman, Lokoja, and other Branch Officials. Others were the State Deputy Chief of Staff, Speaker of the KSHA, and other top government functionaries.

Promise Emmanuel
Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor of Kogi State

20th September 2021

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