Statement of NBA Body of Vice Chairs on the Cruel Assassination of Legal Practitioners in Abuja And Port Harcourt By Unknown Persons

 

The Body of Vice Chairpersons of the Nigerian Bar Association notes with shock and concern the recent spate of killings of Legal Practitioners in Nigeria in circumstances that suggest a correlation with their work as legal practitioners. We condemn this phenomenon in the strongest possible terms.

 

 

The current threat level to legal practitioners has rendered all legal practitioners in Nigeria endangered species in the prevailing atmosphere. This situation cannot be allowed to thrive as the inevitable consequence is the eradication of the legal profession.

We have had cause to complain in recent times about the incidence of physical assaults and humiliation of legal practitioners by security agents while acting in the course of their duties as legal practitioners. While our complaints have yet to yield results, we are now confronted with these sordid reports in which the most sacrosanct of all rights, the right to life, is now so easily taken from Legal Practitioners.

In view of the above and in our office as the forum of the Nigerian Bar Association vested with responsibility in matters pertaining to human rights and having regard to the peculiar circumstance of the legal practitioner who as an intermediary in many cases between security agencies and individuals, and between private persons inter se is exposed to risk of physical and other harm, we, the members of the Body of Vice Chairpersons of the Nigerian Bar Association hereby make the following demands:

  1. That the Inspector General of Police immediately constitute a high powered investigative team at the Federal Level to unravel the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and the circumstances of the assassination of Mr. Stephen Enyinnaya Eke (Nyanya Karu Branch) and Mr. Nathan Akatakpo (Ahoada Branch) who were reportedly assassinated in Abuja and Rivers State respectively.
  2. That the Attorney General of the Federation engage with the Inspector General of Police to ensure that all perpetrators, whether as principal offenders, accessories or accomplices,  are uncovered and prosecuted to the full extent of the law with respect to the murder of Mr. Stephen Enyinnaya Eke (Nyanya Karu Branch) and Mr. Nathan Akatakpo (Ahoada Branch.
  3. That all Vice Chairpersons in the affected branches i.e. branches in which our departed colleagues were members  liaise with all relevant authorities and persons to follow up on the matter until justice is done and to report all developments in this regard and channel all requests for logistical or other support to the Body of Vice Chairpersons.

We are united in our resolve not to be intimidated and brow beaten by these purveyors of evil and call on all authorities and men of goodwill to condemn these dastardly acts. The rule of law is the bastion on which our beloved nation rests and the legal practitioner is integral to the design. A threat to one of us is therefore a threat to all of us and to the rule of law in Nigeria. We cannot let this evil tendency take root in our nation.

 

May God bless the BOVC
May God bless the NBA
May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

 


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