Killing of Lawyers: BOVC tasks Attorney General, IGP to unravel killers

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Killing of Lawyers: BOVC tasks Attorney General, IGP to unravel killers

Body of Vice-Chairs (BOVC) of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has stated that, the threat to lawyers is a threat to rule of law following the killings of two members of the Association in Abuja and River State respectfully.

BOVC in a release signed by the chairlady, Abiye Tam-George on Tuesday has noted 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 levelled at 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 declaration of a State of Nature.

“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 for, or representing their clients.

“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,”the statement said

“Legal practitioners represent and act as intermediary in many cases between security agencies and individuals, exposing them to the risk of physical and other harm, now death,” the statement added.

“In view of the above, the members of the Body of Vice-Chairs (BOVC) 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 Esq and Mr. Nathan Akatakpo Esq 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 Esq, Mr. Nathan Akatakpo Esq, and/or any other Legal Practitioners 

3. That all Vice-Chairs 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 to the Body of Vice-Chairs (BOVC). .

“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 ought to be the bastion on which our beloved nation rests and the legal practitioner is integral to the design, threat to one of us is therefore a threat to all of us and to the rule of law in Nigeria.

“We demand that the security agencies should rise up to their responsibilities and protect the lives and properties of citizens,” the statement concluded.