The killers of Port Harcourt-based human rights lawyer,Mr Ken Atsuwete, would be brought to justice, the police said today.
Mr Nnamdi Omoni, a DSP, and Public Relations Officer of the command, told a news conference in Port Harcourt that Atsuwete was killed at 6.00 a.m. on Monday.
He said that the police had commenced investigation into the incident and would ensure that the killers were arrested and prosecuted.
Omoni described the incident as “ pure assassination”.
According to him, the lawyer had contacted the police to inform them that there was kidnapping in his area, at Umuogba,Aluu community in Ikwerre Local Government of Rivers.
He said preliminary investigation revealed that Atsuwete might have been shot in his car after struggling with the armed men.
“The killers used Atsuwete`s car to escape, abandoned it, ran into another car and escaped with it.
“This is an unfortunate thing that has happened. His body has been deposited at the mortuary and the police investigation has commenced.
“Ken was the voice of the voiceless. The killers would be brought to justice soon,” Omoni said.
Dr. Dakuku Peterside, director-general of NIMASA condemned the barbaric and gruesome assassination of Atsuwete.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) who was reacting to the sad incident noted that the killing of the prominent activist, political commentator, and lawyer is perhaps the deadliest of several politically motivated killings in Rivers State.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the barbaric, nasty and heinous assassination of Barrister Ken Atsuwete in Port Harcourt, Rivers State today. This is perhaps the deadliest of several politically motivated killings perpetrated in Rivers State in recent times.”
“Ken Atsuwete was a prominent activist, political commentator, a fiery critic of bad governance, Citizen activist and most recently lawyer to Hon Ojukaye Flag Amachree, the APC leader held for trumped up charges.
“Without any doubt, the killers of Ken Atsuwete have the objective of instilling fear in the rank of the opposition, stifle them and silence every voice of reason in Rivers State. The killing of Ken Atsuwete is perhaps the height of impunity which is now an everyday way of life in my home State of Rivers.
“I call on the Inspector General of Police, Director General of State Security Service and other national security agencies to conduct an extensive investigation into this heinous crime with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book and restoring sanity to our dear state.”
The NIMASA DG further noted that the current government in Rivers State, in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, owes the people the responsibility to protect lives and property irrespective of the political persuasion of citizens and called for an immediate halt to this wanton destruction of lives and property in the state.
Dr. Peterside who expressed sadness over a promising life suddenly felled also condoled with the family of the late Activist saying “I mourn with the immediate family of Ken Atsuwete, his associates and APC political family on this needless loss of the voice of Reason