Port Harcourt-based lawyer murdered by gunmen

PORT Harcourt, Rivers State-based legal practitioner and human rights activist, Mr Ken Atsuwete, was shot dead by gunmen in Aluu community, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, Monday morning.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that the assailants stormed the late Atsuwete’s residence in the early hours of Monday, dragged him outside his house and shot him several times, leaving him almost dead.

He was said to have been taken to Nimi Briggs Hospital within the University of Port Harcourt, but the rescue was late, as he was confirmed dead by the hospital due to excessive loss of blood from the bullet wounds.

When contacted, Rivers Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident, saying the police was on top of the matter.

Astuwete was one of the counsel for a former chairman of the Asari-Toru Local Government Area, Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, who is standing trial for a murder-related offence.

The last public appearance of the assassinated legal practitioner was at the 56th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), held last week, in Port Harcourt and where he was one of the speakers.

Meanwhile, the assassination is eliciting reactions, as the publicity secretary of the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Chris Finebone, alleged that it was politically-motivated.

The Rivers APC spokesman called on the police authorities and the DSS to unravel the circumstances surrounding the killing of Astuwete.

Also, Director of the Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL), where the late Atsuwete also worked, Mr Anyankwe Nsirim-Ovu, condemned the dastardly act.

“Worthy Itsekiri son, human rights lawyer/activist of repute was gunned down early hours of today. Ken is handling some of the politically sensitive human rights matters in Rivers and, indeed, in the region. He is outspoken. He is the lawyer on the Ojukaye Amakiri matter,” he said.