The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Kebbi Chapter, on Wednesday began a three- week boycott of all courts over alleged illegal activities by ‘Yan Sakai’ in the state.
It stated this in a communiqué co-signed by its Chairman, Kabiru Aliyu, and Secretary, Aminu Hassan, after its congress in Birnin Kebbi.
According to the NBA branch, the ‘Yan Sakai’ is an armed ethnic militia in Zuru Emirate established as a vigilance group with the sole objective of curtailing the activities of bandits, abductors, and cattle rustlers.
The statement said: “However, the group has no regulations to guide and control its activities, as it metamorphosed into something else thereby usurping the powers of constituted authorities by arresting, investigating, and adjudicating.
“The group sits on appeal to cases already adjudicated upon by the High Court and Court of Appeal.
“Sequel to incessant complaints against activities of the group, the ‘Yan Sakai’ communicated through Zuru Emirate Council that they would abstain from interfering with the administration of justice but have reneged on the undertaking.”
The communiqué alleged that the group prevented litigants from attending courts and obeying court orders.
The NBA added: “Now, courts’ judgments, summons, warrants, and orders are no longer respected, obeyed and cannot be executed for fear of intimidation by the group.
“Based on the foregoing, the association concluded that the lives of its members, judges, judicial staff and litigants are in grave danger as a result of the activity of ‘Yan Sakai’.
“Lawyers throughout the state will from the 3rd day of February, 2021 to 24th February, 2021 boycott all courts in the state for three weeks to show our dismay on the lingering issues.
“For safety reasons and in solidarity with our members in the emirate, we call on the heads of courts to shut down all courts in the state indefinitely until the safety of judges, magistrates, lawyers, litigants, and court staff can be guaranteed”.
The communiqué also called on the Federal Government, the state government, and Zuru Emirate council to address the impasse forthwith.