NBA Alleges Foul Play On The Murdered Nsukka Lawyer


By Adadareporters

The Nigeria Bar Association, Nsukka Branch, Saturday, alleged that state actors masterminded the killing of Barr Elias Ugwu. Ùgwù was shot dead by operatives of the Nigeria Police after he delivered ransom for the release of his cousin who was abducted in Kogi State.

The Nigeria Bar Association, Nsukka Branch, stated this in a release signed by its chairman, Barr Sunny Okoro.

Our correspondent learnt that Barr Ugwu’s cousin was among the five passengers abducted at Ijih Urban Area between Aloma and Ejule in Kogi State and were held hostage in the bush where they were made to contact their relations to pay ransoms for their release.

The abductee had contacted the deceased lawyer, who made efforts to raise the ransom to secure the release of his cousin.

Nsukka NBA claimed that before embarking on the journey that claimed his life, Barr Ugwu reported to the Anti-Kidnapping Office of the Nigeria Police Force, and also the Divisional Headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force, Ogrute, Enugu-Ezike in Igbo-Eze North LGA, both in Enugu State, informing them of the kidnapping, and his proposed journey to Kogi State to deliver the ransom.

Okoro said, “Our colleague proceeded to Kogi State to deliver the ransom as directed by the kidnappers. After delivering the ransom at somewhere in Alede-Egume, and securing the release of his cousin, our colleague was making his way back to Anyigba where his cousin resides, with his cousin and one other person, Chidi Aneke, who accompanied him from Nsukka.

“When they got to Ojigbala-Egume, unknown to them that the police had laid an ambush for them, they drove into the ambush and the police, without an attempt at even stopping their vehicle, opened fire, and shot our colleague on the head. It is also worthy to mention that the police van was parked away from the road, to avoid suspicion as they laid in wait for the car.”

The group further claimed that after shooting the deceased, the other two occupants of the vehicle pleaded with the police to rush him to the hospital, after identifying themselves and explaining their mission in the area, “but the officers chose to treat them as suspected armed robbers, arrested and handcuffed the two survivors; at the time they eventually accepted to take our then dying colleague to the hospital, it was already too late and he was pronounced dead-on-arrival”.

Okoro, in the statement, described the explanation made by the Kogi State Police Command that the deceased was shot when he refused stop after being flagged to do so as “distorted”.

Nsukka NBA stated that, “Our colleague, Elias Ugwu, left Enugu State, on Saturday, the 9th day of March 2024, the same day he was gruesomely killed by the police. It is therefore a deliberate misinformation to state that he and his companions were seen roaming the bush in Kogi State for two days or more prior to the 9th day of March, 2024.

“It is also a callous distortion to state that our colleague was flagged down and he refused to stop and that it was the tyres of the vehicle that the police targeted. Our colleague, by the account of the survivors of the incident, was never stopped at all, but was simply fired at by an officer later simply identified as Sampolo, on jumping out from the bush where he and his colleagues hid waiting for the vehicle.

“Why would the police allege that Elias Ugwu was killed in the bush, when he had already entirely left the village where the ransom was paid, and was driving to Anyigba, and the victim of the kidnap already reaching out to people, joyfully announcing his freedom? What are the police intending to hide?

“It’s disheartening that the Kogi State Police Command would, instead of showing sympathy and remorse for this obviously reckless act, choose rather to embark on churning out spurious allegations aimed at shielding their personnel from the law.”

The association claimed that its member was “deliberately and unjustifiably killed by state actors, and we will continue to push until justice is duly served.”

Adadainfo is an online newspaper reporting Nigerian news. Email: Phone: 08071790941

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