Human rights lawyer and social critic, Mike Ozekhome, has been kidnapped. According to President of Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL), Abdul Mahmud who confirmed the development, Ozekhome was kidnapped on Friday night along the Benin-Auchi motorway in Edo State.
“Last night (Friday), news broke out that Mike Ozekhome (SAN) had been kidnapped by unknown persons as he travelled on the now-notorious Ehor stretch of the Benin-Auchi motorway,” Mahmud wrote in a statement.
“And with the sad news now long confirmed by the Edo State Command of the Nigeria Police Force, there has been no indication of his whereabouts or that his driver who was seized with him.”
He described Ozekhome as a former principal, personal friend, and suave and outspoken Lagos lawyer whose contributions to constitutional and public laws are well too known.
“It is tragic, and if not unheard of, for anyone to have seized him, held him captive against his will,” he said.
“Ozekhome, like many Nigerians who are today held captive by kidnappers everywhere, doesn’t deserve the bestiality of those he has dedicated many years of his outspoken forthrightness to defend, nor does he deserve the mistreatment of gun totting scum who have seized our roads and our country. I call on those holding Ozekhome captive to release him immediately and unconditionally.
“There’s a wider point to be made here. The kidnap of Ozekhome highlights the growing insecurity in Edo State and in our country; and the government and security agencies must live up to their responsibility of securing public safety.”
Similarly, lawyer Festus Keyamo released a statement calling for Ozekhome’s release.
“I have just received with shock, the news of the kidnap of my learned friend and brother, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) along the Benin–Auchi Road,” he wrote.
“This is one kidnap too many and it further draws local and international attention to the poor state of security in our country. It also highlights the state of joblessness among youths in our country which is one reason why they turn to this dangerous trade for their livelihood.
“I want to personally appeal to the kidnappers or their sponsors (if any), to kindly consider that Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has a family that relies on him, both nuclear and extended, and even other dependants in the society. I also appeal to them not to harm him in anyway. In the name of God that we all serve, they should please release him to re-unite with his family.”
Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) campaigned against military dictatorship in Nigeria and is well-known for canvassing the welfare of Nigeria’s poor. He, however, joins the growing list of Nigerians kidnapped on daily scale by gun-wielding bands of kidnappers.
Source: Huhu Online
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