Barely three days after the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) held a successful annual general conference in Port Harcourt, a human rights activist and lawyer to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ken Atsuwete, has been murdered by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.
THISDAY gathered that Atsuwete was abducted by the gunmen from his residence at Aluu, Aluu Community, close to the University of Port Harcourt, about 5am, before being shot and dumped in a nearby drain.
A source in the community said Atsuwete might have survived if help had come his way as at the time he was shot and dumped in the drainage.
The source said, “If help has come as at the time he was shouting for help, he would have survived. Due to the security situation in Aluu, nobody was brave enough to come out to assist him when he was screaming for help. He eventually gave up the ghost few minutes after he introduced his name as Ken Atsuwete and people cane to his aid.”
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Omoni Nnamdi (DSP), confirmed the incident, but said said he was yet to get details.
Reacting to the incident, the APC, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by its spokesman, Chris Finebone, insisted that the murder of Atsuwete was politically-related and called on the Inspector-General of Police, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) to ensure that they unravel those behind the heinous crime.
The statement reads in part, “We of the APC have been labelled as prophets of doom for telling the world that the Wike government in Rivers State is the architect of the insecurity that is ravaging the State. They stage-manage private conferences at huge costs to the Rivers taxpayer just to show that there is peace in the State.
“Just a few days ago, the NBA held its 56th Annual Conference here in Port Harcourt at a humongous cost to the the taxpayer. This morning, a very energetic, promising and vocal member of the NBA and popular human rights lawyer. Barr. Ken Atswete was gunned down in his home by assassins.