By Job Osazuwa
A Lagos-based constitutional lawyer, Chief Morah Ekwunoh, has cried out to all authorities to save him from the hands of some powerful people alleged to be after his life.
He said he had handled different controversial cases, there have been relentless monitoring and tracking of his person and movement, with such threats being conveyed through phone numbers.
Ekwunoh said the threat to his life had become so consistent that he needed to draw the attention of the relevant bodies to come to his rescue. He lamented that he could no longer sleep with his two eyes closed for fear of being attacked by people trailing him.
According to him, he now operates from the hiding for fear of being dispatched to an early grave.
Ekwunoh, who is also a human rights activist, believes that those that want to cut his life short are within the country’s security and political architecture. He also described those he suspected to be behind his travails are untouchables in society.
He stated that his persecution and attempts to assassinate him were not unconnected with his active involvement in defending the voiceless in society, as his ordeal could also be traceable to his unalloyed stance against police brutality and other acts of injustice intermittently meted out to innocent Nigerians.
He said: “These people who believe that they are untouchable, presumably in the corridors of security and political power, especially in Lagos, have, for the same reason of actualising my assassination, bugged all my phones, hacked my social media platforms, 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 foot soldiers and ground troops.”
Ekwunoh posted a list of local and foreign telephone numbers, which he said his traducers have been using to harass and persecute him. He narrated how some strange faces trailed him to his hotel in Lagos, where he now hides for the fear being killed.
He said he has sent two save-my-soul petitions, with annotated photographs, documents and other evidence, to President Muhammadu Buhari, and 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) in Lagos, sometime ago, sent him life-threatening text messages.
He said that some of the messages read: “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. In addition, there was another message from the same source that read “our condolences.”
Ekwunoh said one of the actions from his enemies was the raid of his Surulere, Lagos, residence from about 3.30am to 4.15am on October 24, 2020. 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.
According to him, the men, while the raid lasted, split into two groups, with one group waiting outside, as back-up, in the event of problems for the group inside. He disclosed that, hours before the attack, certain phone numbers had persistently bugged his lines and tracked his movement.
He stated that the attempts on his life took a desperate dimension and reached a climax after his published a public-interest article on the recent #EndSARS protests in a national newspaper. He recalled that the article, which was published on October 22, was titled “EndSARS: A plebiscite and referendum on police, government.”
Ekwunoh further noted that: “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.
“I am a lawyer and human rights activist with nearly four decades of practice. By virtue of my modest involvement in the said human rights activism, some top handlers and managers of Nigerian political and security institutions embarked on a journey of eliminating me.
“Characteristically, further, upon my picking, or returning back, such threatening, monitoring and tracking calls, their ringtones were characteristic of agonizing noises and cries akin only to torture-chambers cries and noise,” he worried.
He alleged that his two cars, parked in his premises, a Mecedes-Benz (FA 526 AAA ) and a Volkswagen ( FE 417 AAA), were also towed away by the powers that be.
“In the case of Mercedes-Benz car, which was in full and excellent fitness and functionality, it was, on September 29, 2016, towed away, in gestapo style, by my traducers’ foot soldiers and ground troops with all valuable contents therein, including money. It was dumped at the street, opposite Coker/Aguda Local Council Development Area, where all contents thereof were vandalised and looted, and the car abandoned at the street gutter, till date.
“The second case was how my Volkswagen was, in early 2019, destroyed inside the said compound by some persons, filling it’s engine, fuel tank, carburetor and radiator to the brim with salt and other corrosive chemicals,” he said.
He stated that he was yet to understand why the security agencies have refused to thoroughly look into his complaints, against a certain Agboola’s death declaration on him.
He also suspects that those after his life might not also be unconnected with some individuals and their agents, who are after grabbing his vast hectares of land situating in Nawgu community, where he hails from in Anambra State.
“For some personalities from my community, my issues with them is about my longstanding opposition, as the community’s first lawyer and human rights activist, to their leadership style, particularly in relation to their massive sale and general despoliation of the town’s grossly inadequate land.
“This notoriety lies in the massive scramble for and despoliation of all my vast hectares of land, particularly in Nawgu.”
He vowed that, irrespective of his nightmare, his commitment to demand what is right, just and fair in governance, especially giving voice to the poor and the voiceless, would remain firm and irreversible.
He said he was pained that, despite his numerous distress calls and petitions to the institutions concerned, his case was being treated with utmost levity. He lamented that no due attention has been given to his ordeal, which has lasted many years.
“My petitions, particularly those of December 30, 2019; May 9, 2020; October 28, 2020; and January 5, this year, should not be swept under the carpet.
“l make this clarion call on the world, at large, the United Nations (UN), International Criminal Court (ICC) and others in the international community to join in pursuit of due prognosis to my said ordeals and travails by appealing to, and persuading, President Buhari to take action on the petitions domiciled with him; to protect me and to bring all the brains behind my problem to book,” Ekwunoh said.
He believes that the law is above everyone, no matter how highly placed is such a citizen.
He stated that if his traducers remain untouchable within the Nigerian security architecture, then the long arm of the ICC would soon catch up with them.