Police confirm release of Akwa Ibom judge, 5 days after abduction

THE Akwa Ibom state Police Command has confirmed the release of a judge at Oron High Court, Joy Unwana, kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Monday, December 18.

The kidnappers whisked away Unwana and her driver. 

The incident occurred on Monday night at around 8:00 p.m. along the Okobo-Esuk Inwang-Ndon Ebom road, resulting in the death of her Police orderly.

In a chat with The ICIR on Saturday, December 23, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Akwa Ibom command, Odiko Macdon, confirmed the judge’s release.

According to Macdon, the judge has met with the state governor, Umo Eno.

“Yes, I can confirm she has been released. She has met with his excellency (the governor). It is a great delight that the kidnapped judge has been released. 

“It’s a wonderful gift to me on my birthday. We are delighted with her release.” added the officer.

He said that notwithstanding her release, security agencies in the state would go after the kidnappers and bring them to justice.

“We will spare no resources in going after people behind the dastardly act. They will be brought to justice,” he vowed.

When asked if ransom was paid for her release, Macdon said, “I have not heard about ransom. As a security agency, we do not discuss ransom.”

The ICIR reports that the Akwa Ibom state government announced the judge’s release early Saturday morning.

According to the state commissioner for information, Ini Ememobong, the government appreciated God for ensuring the judge’s safe return and the security agencies’ prompt response and dedication to duty when he received the judge at the Government House in Uyo.

The governor further assured citizens of the state that under his watch, there would never be a haven for criminals.

He charged security operatives to double their surveillance.

According to the statement, in her response, Unwana lauded the governor for his concern and efforts at rescuing her from her abductors.

She recounted her ordeal in their hands, praying that no one should face such a terrible experience.

Unwana, who was released with her driver, is being debriefed and receiving medical attention.



    Before her release, her abduction prompted protests and the closure of court operations from several branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), particularly the Oron branch, where Justice Unwana works as a judge.

    The NBA listed several demands, including that the state government and security services rescue the judge as quickly as possible.

    The lawyers expressed their condolences to the family of Unwana’s Police orderly who was killed.

    They also urged the state government to formulate a policy that upholds judicial autonomy in providing sufficient facilities for judicial officers.


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