Text Of Press Conference By The R/S Chapter Of All Progressives Congress [Apc] On The Assassination Of Barr. Ken Atswete Held On Tuesday, 30th August, 2016 At The State Secretariat, 43 Forces Avenue, Old Gra, Port Harcourt
Gentlemen of the press,
Monday morning (yesterday) the Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) received with shock news of the dastardly assassination of popular human rights lawyer and activist, Barr. Ken Atswete at his residence in Port Harcourt.
Further interaction with the staff of the murdered lawyer revealed that it was clearly a case of premeditated murder considering the dimensions of what happened.
We recall that the APC has relentlessly stated that the methods that led to the killing its way to power in Rivers State, the present state government led by Gov. Nyesom Wike cannot stop the violence, killings and maiming that have become part of the everyday chequered lives of the people and residents of Rivers State. In return, we have been called names and conveniently labelled doomsday prophets and naysayers. Today, such deceitful labelling by the PDP and Rivers State government officials has, once again, been proved wrong and we have been proved right.
The APC wishes to be on record that the Rivers State Government and their agents must be held responsible for the killing of Barr. Ken Atswete and the reasons for our charge are obvious and lucid.
Late Ken Atswete was one of the leading counsels to APC chieftain, Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree who is presently incarcerated on trumped-up charges surreptitiously inspired and driven by the Rivers State Government led by Gov. Nyesom Wike. Officials of the state government have variously vowed to teach the APC and its leader, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi a lesson by jailing one of its most active leaders, Hon. Flag-Amachree. However, Ken Atswete, as counsel to Flag-Amachree, had thrown in everything into the defence of his client to the chagrin of officials of the state government who are the traducers of Ojukaye Flag-Amachree.
Again, late Ken Atswete had not relented in standing with citizens and public servants against the wrongful use of state power. The many cases he has instituted in this regard attest to that fact.
Most importantly, we know that last week, late Barr. Ken Atswete threatened while on a radio programme that he would [this week] expose how the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Rivers State, Samuel Nwanosike, obtained a forged court order restraining INEC from releasing Tai rerun election results – a court order the PDP has been parading. Late Ken promised to present proof that such a court order did not exist and that the judge that purportedly gave that order was not a vacation judge as she had been on vacation in the US.
Unfortunately, they ensured he never saw this week and therefore cannot now expose those characters. They may have stopped Ken in his track but they cannot stop God from exposing them.
The APC also recalls that late Ken Atswete complained severally to close associates that he was being sent threat text messages, phone calls and sometimes physically attacked by those he suspected were agents of the state government for speaking out on topical issues that made the government and its officials ostensibly uncomfortable.
The APC is further shocked that reports reaching us indicate that officials of the Rivers State Government have since yesterday inundated editors of national and local media houses to subdue the story of the dastardly killing of Barr. Ken Atswete. We remind you gentlemen of the press to ignore such pressures and courageously publish the truth for the benefit of the people and the good of our society.
The APC hails the Rivers State Police Command for saying that they have promptly commenced investigation. We want to believe that the Police will rise to the occasion this time around by swiftly unravelling the circumstances of the gruesome killing of Ken Atswete and quickly bring the culprits and their sponsors to justice.
We call on the Nigerian Bar Association [NBA] to rise up to the challenge of prevailing on the relevant authorities to unravel this heinous crime. If a lawyer handling cases for the opposition in Rivers State could be this cheaply assassinated, who knows who will be the next victim.
The APC also calls on the Rivers State Police Commissioner, the State Director of Department of State Services [DSS], the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General, DSS and all security apparati in the land to quickly solve the riddle surrounding the murder of Ken Atswete and ensure the eventual prosecution of all those who may directly and indirectly be involved in planning and execution of this heinous act.