March 20, 2017
In Delta state, 5 soldiers attached to the 222 Battalion, Agarha-Otor, Ughelli-North local government area, have reportedly beaten a legal practitioner, Mr Sunny Ekwe to coma and leaving his spinal cord broken.
Punch reports that, this incident was said to have taken place on Saturday, March 11, at about 7pm. The man had gone to visit a relative at Okpara waterside in Ethiope local government area of the state when he was attacked by the soldiers.
It was gathered that the soldiers dumped the lawyer in a gutter, where they ostensible left him to bleed to death. However, a source present at the scene narrated that trouble started when one of the soldiers approached and ordered Ekwe to follow him into a dark place where four other soldiers were waiting.
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The lawyer, sensing danger, refused to follow the soldier but unfortunately, his refusal to follow the soldier drew the attention of the four other soldiers, who emerged from the dark and joined their colleague to beat Ekwe.
Ekwe’s close friend, Mr Omes Ogedengbe, who confirmed the incident on Sunday, said the victim also sustain injures in his head and was lying critically ill at undisclosed hospital. Ogedengbe, a lawyer and the National Coordinator, Conference for the Actualisation of Human Rights, called on the Nigerian Army to ensure that justice was served in the case.
February 24, 2017
Seun Oladapo who murdered a human rights lawyer and social commentator, Kunle Fadipe was on Friday sentenced to death by hanging.
Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of an Ikeja High Court found Oladapo guilty in all the five counts bordering on murder, armed robbery, assault, possession of dangerous weapons.
Oladapo who stood in the dock with the aid of crutches, was expressionless as the judge declared that he is to die by hanging.
“I hereby find the defendant guilty of all the counts, as the prosecution has proved beyond doubt its case against the defendant.
“The knife with which the murder was carried out is one of the most vicious and dangerous looking knives I have ever seen,” the Judge said.
The sad incident which led to the death of Barrister Fadipe happened on the 3rd of July 2014, when the deceased came back from work around 10pm at his Harmony Estate Duplex, Fagba.
January 27, 2017
Gunmen yesterday shot Ini Ekpo, lawyer to the founder of Reigners’ Bible Church International in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, Apostle Akan Weeks.
The lawyer’s assailants were said to have attacked him at his home in the capital city.
It was gathered the gunmen entered the house through the main gate around 2.27a.m and moved into his room where they shot him twice on his two legs.
The assailants were said to have taken four laptops.
A family source, who did not want to be named, said the assailants accused Ekpo of helping Weeks to tell lies at the commission of enquiry the state government set up to probe collapse of the church building in December.
Ekpo is said to be recuperating at an undisclosed private hospital.
The state Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Aniekan Akpan said Ekpo was shot on his legs yesterday about 2 a.m.
The lawyer said he visited Ekpo at the hospital.
January 26, 2017
The Department of State Services (DSS) says the protest by Lawyers in Defence of Democracy and Citizens for Good Governance that its Director General, Alhaji Lawal Daura, be relieved of his position as misplaced priority.
“We believe that that protest by the group, claiming to be acting on behalf of some aggrieved lawyers and Human Rights activists, has other hidden motives,” the DSS said.
The group of lawyers and others had during the protest complained against the excesses of the DG in trying to destabilise Rivers State, the gradual destruction of Nigerian democracy, abuse of human rights, detention of citizens and journalists.
While calling for the release of their members from the DSS underground detention facilities, they also demanded for the disbandment of the panel set up by the Police to investigate the violence in the last Rivers re-run elections.
Moving from United States, British High Commission, the European Commission and the Human Rights Commission where they submitted petitions, the protesters said their march was to stand up against the SSS boss in his bid to install a reign of fear and intimidation.
But the DSS source who spoke on behalf of head of the country’s secret police said yesterday: “The protesters’ main grouse was that some lawyers who are members of their group are being detained by the DSS. I wish to state categorically that no lawyer is in our custody. I repeat, no lawyer is being detained in DSS custody.’’
November 5, 2016
The Rivers State police has arrested and started investigation into the gruesome murder of Human Rights lawyer, Ken Atsuete
This was disclosed by the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Francis Odesanya during presentation of the command’s achievements in the last one month at the headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
According to him, about 75 suspected criminals are in police net over crimes ranging from murder, kidnapping to armed robbery, 249 fire arms and live ammunition were recovered,11 of the suspects were killed in action, 30 kidnapped victims were rescued with 15 stolen cars recovered among other exhibits.
Assorted rifles, pump action guns, live ammunition, mobile phones and other gadgets are among the items in the premises of the command.
One of the suspects known as general dodo, told journalists that he led a gang of six gunmen who are linked to criminal activities in Onelga and Ahoada Local Government Areas.
According to him, he returned to crime after accepting the state government’s amnesty because there was nothing to far back on.
October 31, 2016
President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, said on Monday that the judges and lawyers could no longer practise freely in the North-East because of insurgency in the area.
Mahmoud, who spoke while inaugurating the NBA’s North-East and Niger-Delta task forces in Abuja, said lawyers were endangered in the region.
He said with internally displaced persons in the North-East “estimated to be about 2.3 million which is the third largest in the world after Syria and Columbia”, insurgency in the region had affected the independence of the legal profession.
He added that judges had been avoiding some types of cases out fear instilled by the lack of adequate protection for them and members of their families.
He said, “It is also worthy of mention that the insurgency in the North-East has affected the independence of the legal profession and the welfare of our members.
“Legal practice in the North-Eastern Nigeria has been largely disrupted as a result of the insurgency in the region. Our noble colleagues in that part of the country are besieged and endangered.
October 22, 2016
The Nigeria Police Force on Friday said it had arrested four suspected kidnappers and killers of the Port Harcourt, Rivers State-based human rights Lawyer, Ken Atsuwete.
Atsuwete was killed on August 29 along Onuchiolu Road, Aluu in Ikwerre Local Governemnt Area of Rivers State.
Presenting the suspects to newsmen in Abuja, the Force Spokesman, Deputy Commissioner of Police Don Awunah, said the killing was as a result of a botched kidnap attempt.
“Contrary to wide public suspicion that he (suspect) was hired to assassinate the deceased, the suspect’s statement revealed a botched kidnap attempt,” Awunah said.
He said that items recovered from them are: AK 47 rifle, 124 live ammunitions and four AK 47 magazines.