A Lagos-based constitutional lawyer, Chief Morah Ekwunoh, has cried out to the authorities to save him from the hands of some powerful forces who he alleged are after his life.
He said that the threat to his life had become so consistent that he needed to draw the attention of the relevant bodies to the frightening development. He lamented that he could no longer sleep with his two eyes closed for fear of being attacked by people trailing him.
Ekwunoh, who is also a human rights activist, believes that those that want to cut his life short were within the country’s security and political architecture. He also described those he suspected to be behind his travails as untouchables in the society.
He stated that his persecution and assassination attempts were not unconnected with his active involvement in defending the voiceless in society. He said that his ordeal could also be traceable to his unalloyed stance against police brutality and other acts of injustice intermittently meted out to innocent Nigerians.
The lawyer, however, did not mention any names or the offices of those he suspected were behind his ordeal.
His words: “Can the world kindly help me unmask the untouchable characters within the Nigerian security and political architecture who have sworn and are desperate to have me dead? They are pursuing their goal through direct and subterranean deployment of ‘ground troops’ and ‘foot soldiers.’
“These people who believe that they are untouchable, presumably at the corridors of security and political power, especially in Lagos, have, for the same reason of actualising my assassination, bugged all my phones, blocked my email from sending messages and have tracked all my movements. There have been constant threats to my life from them, among countless other violations of my inalienable human rights, the results of which they relay to their said ‘foot- soldiers’ and ‘ground- troops’ as listed below.
He posted a list of local and foreign telephone numbers, which he said his traducers have been using to harass and persecute him. Apart from the ones mentioned above, the aggrieved lawyer said other phone numbers in daily deployment were contained in his compendium of two save-my-soul petitions, with annotated photographs, documents and other evidence, to President Muhammadu Buhari. He said that copies of the petitions were sent to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, executive secretary, National Human Rights Commission, and the director-general, Department of State Service, among others.
Narrating his ordeal to the reporter, Ekwunoh said that, in the course of processing some documents for an accused person, one policeman, an officer attached to the now dissolved Special Anti-Robery Squad (SARS), Panti, Lagos, sometime ago, sent him life-threatening text messages.
He said that some of the messages read as “a living goat is more valued than a dead lion. May the soul of the dead rest in peace”. He recalled this particular message was sent to him six times early in the morning on that fateful day by the officer. He added that there was another message from the same source that read “our condolences”.
He raised the alarm that the latest action from his enemies was the raid of his Surulere, Lagos, residence from about 3.30am to 4.15 am on October 24. He said those who came to attack him were armed with guns, knives, iron rods, charms and other weapons, in a desperate attempt to kill him.
“And, upon their failure to see me, they ransacked everywhere and made away with cash and several files containing vital documents, including my educational certificates, land documents, purchase receipts, court processes, including copies of my judgments against the Nigerian Police, and Nigerian Bar Association-issued stamps, among numerous others,” he said.
He said that the men, while the said raid lasted, split into two groups, with one group waiting outside, as back-up, in the event of problems by the group inside. He disclosed that, hours before the attack, certain phone numbers had persistently bugged his lines and tracked his movements.
He stated that the attempts on his life took a desperate dimension and reached its climax after his published public-interest article on the recent #EndSARS protests in a national newspaper. He recalled that the article, which was published on October 22, was entitled: ‘EndSARS: A plebiscite and referendum on police, government.’
Ekwunoh further noted that: “Curiously, all my reports to the Nigerian Police at all levels have been received with blind eyes and deaf ears, accompanied by utmost levity, in circumstances which leave me with the impression of my being a victim of systemic, if not institutional, machinations.
“In the circumstances of the desperation for my assassination, with active involvement of highly-placed people within the security and political architecture, I call on the Federal Government to urgently unmask these people who are behind my ordeals and travails. This needs to be done urgently, particularly with a view to saving my life in their hands, and bringing them to justice and legal strictures.”
Ekwunoh told the reporter that he had always discharged his legitimate duties as a lawyer and law-abiding Nigerian, insisting that he, therefore, saw no reason anyone would be so determined to have him eliminated.
Irrespective of his present nightmare, he vowed to continue to stand for that which is right, no matter whose ox is gored. He said no society would progress, if justice was not accessible to the common man.
Attempts to speak with the police authorities in Lagos were not successful at the time of filing the report. But a police source, who said he could not verify the authenticity or otherwise of Ekwunoh’s claims, expressed doubts that the police were behind his travails.
The source, a serving senior police officer who pleaded anonymity, as he was not authorised to speak for the police, urged the aggrieved lawyer to extend his investigations to other security agencies, noting that the picture painted by him was inconsistent with the modus operandi of the Nigeria Police.