How Mike Ozekhome was Kidnapped
Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, has been abducted by suspected kidnappers in Edo state, in mid-western Nigeria.
Three other persons who were travelling in a motorcade with Ozekhome were also taken along.
It was reliably gathered that the human rights lawyer and activist who was on his way to his home in Auchi, the administrative headquarters of Etsako West local government area of Edo state, was abducted at gun point about 3.30 pm on Friday in Ehor, Uhunmwode local government area.
Four police officers, including an assistant superintendent of police and an inspector, were killed in their bid to rescue the kidnap victims. The kidnappers laid ambush for their vehicle and shot at them.
Ozekhome’s abduction was the third kidnapping in this area in less than two weeks, aside from other cases of kidnapping that have rocked the state in the past few weeks. A medical doctor was kidnapped last week in Irrua as he was returning home. And Walter Aiwekhue, a deputy chairman of Uhumwunde local council was also kidnapped. However, he managed to do a Houdini act and escape from his abductors.
Edo state Police Command spokesman, ASP Moses Eguavoen, confirmed the story to journalists in Benin.
As at the time of filing this report, it could not be confirmed if the kidnappers have contacted the families of the victims.
Ozekohome’s kidnap was a great irony. All his adult life, since he finished his law degree in 1980 at the old University of Ife, Ozekhome had devoted a chunk of his career, defending the masses, those he would call, ‘the Frantz Fanon’s wretched of the earth’.
It is an irony indeed, that a criminal gang has made him a target.
He was born on 15 October, 1957 in the small town of Iviukwe, not far from the Niger River town of Agenebode, in Etsako local council area of Edo state.
Mike went to St Mary Catholic Primary school(1964-1969) in Ivuikwe and secondary at St. Peter’s College in Agenebode(1970-1974). After this, he came to Baptist Academy in Lagos in 1975 for his A’Level. But he did not stay long as he got admission, first of all to study English at Ife, but a year after, he began his law degree programme.
He graduated in 1980 and after an LLM, Ozekhome first of all learnt from the advocates of the masses, Chief Kanmi Isola Osobu and Chief Gani Fawehinmi, before he set up his own chambers in 1986.
Twenty two years ago, he launched the Mike Ozekhome Foundation to cater for the ‘downtrodden’ in Nigeria.
Now, the ‘downtrodden’ has captured a man who has been fighting for them.