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Is Kenechukwu Okeke a human rights lawyer? Certainly not

Is Kenechukwu Okeke a human rights lawyer? Certainly not
November 11
19:10 2020

BY REGINALD TOBIN

Just recently, on Twitter, I came across the lawsuit filed by one Kenechukwu Okeke, a self-acclaimed human rights lawyer, against some prominent Nigerians who participated in the protest calling for the end to police brutality and the disband of the erstwhile Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).

Kenechekwu Okeke, in his lawsuit, had filed a case against notable Nigerians such as Pastor Sam Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Center, David Adeleke (Davido), Deji Adeyanju, Aisha Yesufu, Yemi Alade, Folarin Falana (FALZ), Bankole Wellington (Banky W) and others for championing the #EndSARS protest in Nigeria.

The protest which trended as #EndSARS, and also resulted in the disbandment of the notorious police unit was as well supported by Nigerians from different parts of the country, who came out in solidarity and participated in the mass action.

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However, the #EndSARS protest which started well and even yielded some positive results was later greeted with a tragic and bloody end as some peaceful protesters at the popular Lekki area of Lagos were gruesomely murdered by men of the Nigerian Army, on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

But before then, several attempts were also made to scuttle the protest. While the protest was ongoing, some hoodlums made attempts to distract the protesters and hijack the process by attacking roadside shops and destroying properties as well as burning down police stations just to twist the purpose and to ridicule a well-meaning peaceful protest.

Sponsored thugs were also caught on camera attacking peaceful protesters exercising their civic rights in a peaceful manner. As a matter of fact, these thugs were even conveyed in Toyota Prado SUV’s as seen on video clips. All these things we saw were clear and convincing proof that these thugs and hoodlums were sponsored by people in power.

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But up till this moment, no lawsuit has been filed against the sponsors of these thugs who made attempts on the lives of innocent Nigerians, no one has been arrested and even brought to book.

But, here is one Kenechukwu Okeke, a man who claims to be a human rights lawyer, a man who ordinarily should be an advocate against oppression, joining the government to oppress the people. Sadly, he has become a tool used by the government to carry out their dirty agenda.

This man who presents himself as a human rights lawyer, instead of filing a lawsuit against those who tried to stop Nigerians from exercising their constitutional rights drawn from section 40 of the 1999 constitution, has rather filled a suit against the people he ought to defend.

If you ask me, I will say Mr Okeke accidentally found himself in the legal profession and certainly has no business with human rights advocacy. If the said Kenechukwu Okeke is in doubt of my assertion, I will definitely explain to him why I think so.

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Before SARS became an erstwhile unit of the police force, men of the unit had killed a good number of innocent Nigerians, the voice of a man like Kenechukwu Okeke should have been heard all over whilst all these happened, but Nigerians didn’t hear from him until just recently. Where has he been? Why didn’t he come out in defense of these people killed by SARS if he really is what he claims to be.

Recall that on Saturday, February 22, 2020, Tiamiyu Kazeem, a footballer, was murdered in Sagamu, Ogun State, by men of the now-disbanded SARS, but Kenechukwu Okeke was quiet. Why didn’t he speak up when Kazeem was killed? Is that not what a human rights lawyer should do? So why was he quiet?

On Saturday, October 19, 2020, when Daniel Chibuike Ikeaguchi, a young singer popularly known as sleek, was murdered in Port Harcourt, by a police Sergeant while being chased by officers of the now-disbanded SARS, why did Kenechukwu Okeke not file a lawsuit against the police Sergeant for killing Sleek?

I will also not forget to state the case of Kolade Johnson, a 35-year-old, who on Sunday, 31 March 2019, was murdered at a football viewing center by men of the anti-cultism squad in Lagos. This also happened in a country where a human rights lawyer like Kenechukwu Okeke who is capable of taking prominent Nigerians to court lives, yet we didn’t see him file any lawsuit against the murderers of these innocent souls. What kind of human rights lawyer could he be?

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A lot of people — too numerous to mention — have been victims of police brutality, but in all these, I am still asking, where has Kenechukwu Okeke been? As a human rights lawyer, what have been his contributions against police brutality, how outspoken has he been towards the barbaric acts of police officers in Nigeria?

If Kenechukwu Okeke is truly a human rights lawyer like he’s parading himself to be, with what played out at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, On Tuesday, October 20, 2020, he wouldn’t need to think twice to file a suit against the Nigerian army for killing innocent Nigerians? But did he? No, he didn’t.

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Just recently, the accounts of some personalities who championed the #EndSARS protest have been frozen by CBN. If Kenechukwu Okeke is truly a human rights lawyer and really wants to file a suit in court, shouldn’t he have filed one against CBN and the government for trying to get back at Nigerians who have done nothing wrong but exercise their own rights?

Well, without much ado, it is very obvious that Kenechukwu Okeke who addresses himself as a human rights lawyer is certainly not. It will also be honourable if the said Kenechukwu Okeke strips himself of the self-acclaimed title since he has joined the government to oppress the people instead of standing in their defence.

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Reginald Tobin can be reached via mail: [email protected] and Twitter: @Reginaldtobin2

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