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Bandits demand N300m to free Kaduna judge, kill eldest son

Bandits have killed the eldest son of a judge of the Kaduna State Customary Court, identified as Janet Galadima, while demanding N300m ransom to free the judge and her three other children still being held.

The Chief Executive Officer of the House of Justice, Gloria Ballason, in a statement on Wednesday, said the judge and her four children were kidnapped by the bandits on Sunday.

According to Ballason, the bandits invaded the judge’s home on the night of Sunday while her medical doctor husband was away on duty.

Ballason said, “The abductors, reported to have been about 15, took their captives hostage and demanded a huge sum as ransom.

“On Tuesday, July 2, 2024, the terrorists shot dead the 14-year-old first son of the judge when the ransom demanded could not be obtained.”

Ballason, a human rights lawyer, condemned the attack on the judge and her family, saying it ran contrary to Article 7 of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary and Section 33 and 14 (2)b of the 1999 Constitution that guarantees the safety of judges.

Ballason described the murder of Victor, the 14-year-old son of the judge as “grisly and blood curdling,” stating that no parent deserved the horror of watching their child being killed in such a cold, callous manner.

She called on the Nigerian security agencies, the Governor of Kaduna state, the Nigeria Bar Association and the judiciary to rise to the urgency of the moment for the protection of the lives of Justice Galadima and her children and to ensure justice was served.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association, in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Dr Shuaibu Joga, said it received with rude shock the bandit attack on the spouse of one of the association’s members.

The NMA PRO said, “Following the incident, we visited and interacted with him (Dr. Musa Gimba Dutse) and he informed us that the kidnappers had made a demand of N300m to secure their release. While the security agencies had been informed and negotiations with the kidnappers were ongoing, we received the shocking news today that the first son was killed to force payment of the said sum.

“In response, we are calling for an emergency SEC meeting today and a press conference to further call on the authorities to expedite action on securing their immediate release and also release of our other doctor colleague kidnapped six months ago.

“We call for calm from members and request all to stay safe while we engage the necessary security organs to end this needless wanton evil.”

A family source said the kidnappers initially demanded N300m but later reduced it to N298m.

“The wife and the four children of Dr. Musa Gimba Dutse were kidnapped on 23/06/24 from his residence in Kaduna while he was away in Kano for an official assignment.

“Security agencies were duly informed after the incident with the kidnappers initially demanding N300m, which they later reduced to N298m, to secure their release.

“While negotiations were ongoing, the kidnappers murdered Dr. Musa’s eldest son, Victor (14yrs) on July 2, 2024 to force payment of the ransom.

”Dr. Musa is a civil servant working for the state primary healthcare board and his wife, Janet, is a magistrate with the Kaduna State Customary Court. They do not have the funds and despite all efforts, he has not been able to raise the ransom. Worrying still, the kidnappers are still demanding N298m and threatening more violence. Consequently, we are increasingly fearful for his wife and the three children who remain in their clutches.

“Although the Kaduna State government, security agencies as well as the Nigeria Medical Association and the Nigerian Bar Association are aware, their efforts have not been fruitful.

”I humbly and respectfully request you share this sad story to raise awareness on this family’s plight and possibly get the help Dr. Musa needs to secure his family’s release,” the family source added.

As of the time of filing this report, there was no official statement from either the state government or the state police command.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Mansir Hassan, ASP, could not be reached on his mobile line, which indicated “busy” and there was no response to a text message sent to him on the subject matter.


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