The battle of wits between Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state and the National Vice Chairman, South-South of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the control of the structure of the party in the state took a new twist at the weekend when a female lawyer was abducted from the Court of Appeal, Benin in a move to frustrate justice by elected delegates of the PDP.
Recall that the judgment of the Court of Appeal had reprimanded a judge of the High Court for hearing and giving judgment over the issue of the election of delegates of the PDP while the issue was on appeal.
The thugs believed to have been politically sponsored were reported to have invaded the Appeal Court late on Friday to frustrate the appeals filed by the mainstream of the party.
Reacting to the crisis, leading constitutional lawyer, Chief Ferdinand Orbih, SAN flayed the assertions of the Edo State Government over the abduction of the female lawyer from the Court of Appeal.
He said the move was to frustrate justice by elected delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to assert their mandates.
The Edo State Government had in response to the abduction of the female lawyer last week had on Sunday in a statement denied any role or knowledge of the reported brigandage that led to the abduction of the lawyer from Ferdinand Orbih’s chamber.
Responding to the assertions by the State Government in a statement, Orbih, SAN said: “This Statement is most unfortunate and sad. The attack was carried out by State Actors and one of my lawyers was abducted. And I issued and signed a Statement to that effect. I WILL NOT say what I cannot prove. My lawyer’s life was in grave danger. Her escape was miraculous.
“All our court processes were seized and destroyed by State Officials. Court officials had to run for their dear lives. All this was done to frustrate the further prosecution of our Appeal. I seize this opportunity to thank the Chairman of the NBA Benin Branch, who promptly and appropriately condemned the attack on the Court of Appeal.
“It took the Government more than 48 hours after the occurrence of the incident to issue this extremely provocative Statement.
“We stand by our earlier statement to the effect that the attack was perpetrated by State actors,” Orbih, SAN said in his reaction to the abduction of his female lawyer by the thugs who reportedly forced official documents from her.
Dan Orbih who managed the election that brought Obaseki to power in 2020 has with the mainstream of the party fallen out with the governor over the election of delegates.
The mainstream of the party represented by the State Working Committee, SWC had recently deprecated the development calling on the national headquarters not to give heed to any delegate list that was not sanctioned by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC officials.