Suspected assassins yesterday killed a Port Harcourt, Rivers State lawyer, Ken Atsuwete. The late Atsuwete was handling several cases involving the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its members in the state. He was killed two weeks after he raised the alarm that some strange persons were threatening his life on phone. Atsuwete was also a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
Acording to the Nation, it was learnt that the suspected assassins shot sporadically into the air to scare the neighbourhood before attacking the lawyer at his bungalow at Omoko-Aluu, near the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) in Ikwerre Local Government Area. The hoodlums reportedly entered the expansive compound as the activist was returning from a church service at 8p.m. on Sunday.
Atsuwete’s neighbours, who pleaded not to be named, recalled that shortly after the motorcycle and car were parked in front of the deceased’s house, they started hearing deafening gunshots.
The lawyer was reportedly shot several times at close range in front of his wife and children before the hoodlums dragged him into his car and sped off. Mrs Atsuwete was said to have raised the alarm and reported the incident at the nearby police station, while she joined the search party till daybreak.
The gunmen reportedly dumped Atsuwete at Omuchiolu-Aluu, near UNIPORT, presuming him dead. But the lawyer was alive till yesterday morning. He was said to have called for help from passersby but could not get any, even after introducing himself.
It was learnt that one of his neighbours took him to a police station for a report and rushed him to the nearby University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). But the consultants and nurses did not attend to him because the doctors were said to be on strike. At UPTH, Atsuwete’s wife, with the help of empathising residents, took Atsuwete to O. B. Lulu Briggs Health Centre on UNIPORT campus, where he was confirmed dead.
One of Atsuwete’s neighbours, who did not want to be named, said he and his family were scared by the incident. Rivers APC, through its Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, described Atsuwete’s killing as politically motivated.