Assassins kill prominent Human Rights Lawyer



The Rivers Police Command said it had received report of the killing of a prominent human rights lawyer, Ken Atsuwete, by suspected assassins.

Mr Nnamdi Omoni, a DSP, and Public Relations Officer of the Command, said  in Port Harcourt on Monday that the police had received the report of the killing .

He said the police was working on the report because details were still sketchy and promised to give detailed account lat

Atsuwete, in his 40s, was dragged out of his residence at Omuoko, Aluu community in Ikwerre Local Government Area by gunmen and taken to an unknown destination at about 9 p.m. on Sunday.

It was also gathered that passersby, who saw the lawyer in a pool of his blood on Monday, took him to Aluu police station and was later rushed to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.

Atsuwete died while being moved to a private clinic after he could not be attended to at the UPTH following ongoing doctors` strike.

Reacting to the incident, Mr Anyakwee Nsirimovu, Executive Director, Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), described Atsuwete`s death as shocking.

“ A fearless human rights lawyer, a man who worked hard and hated injustice at any level, has been killed by unknown assailants.

“ To us in the human rights world, it is an attempt to silence speech. Let the truth be told, nobody can kill speech because it is a critical ingredient of a viable democracy,” he said.

Nsirimovu said the late lawyer took active part in the just-concluded 56th annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) held in Port Harcourt.

He called on the security agencies to do thorough investigation and find the killers of the lawyer.

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