The continued disappearance of a 46-year-old lawyer, Barr. Wole Akindutire, allegedly kidnapped in Port Harcourt, has continued to raise more dusts, especially as neither family members nor friends have been contacted by abductors about two weeks after.
Akindutire, a father of four who hails from Ondo State, was kidnapped in Ada, Port Harcourt, River State, on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Port Harcourt branch, and has resided in Rivers state since his National Youth Service and now works in a private law firm in the state.
Our reporter gathered that Akindutire left for work in the morning of the ill-fated day and had his last contact with his younger brother, Tope Akindutire, who also works in his law firm, at about 9.55pm, on phone. He was said to have stopped over a club house on his way home to watch champion’s league. His car was later found around Ada-George/Elioparawon in Port Harcourt, without the slightest damage on it.
Reports by eyewitnesses say he was waylaid and dragged out of his car by strange gunmen who took him away in their own car.
According to his sister, Barr (Mrs)Tolu Kayode, who spoke in tears at a press briefing organised by Akintudire’s ex-classmates, 93/94 Law Faculty Class, Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, at the Women Advocates Research & Documentation Centre, WARDC, in Lagos, the disappearance was formally reported immediately to the Elioparawon police station, but since then, no information has been received concerning it.
“The police also believe it is a case of kidnap and asked us to linger a while to be contacted by the abductors, from where they can take up the case. The initial instruction from them was that we kept everything quiet, as no one could be trusted. They believed the kidnappers would contact us within a couple of days. But nothing of such has happened since then. That is why we are calling on the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, to come into the matter and help us find our brother,” she said.
Tolu who described his brother as a devout member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, a good man and a pillar of support and hope to their entire family since the demise of their father, cried profusely as she pleaded for the immediate release of the man who had sponsored her education, unharmed.
Meanwhile, in a telephone interview, Akindutire’s younger brother and co-worker, Tope, told Vanguard that the missing barrister was neither involved in any electoral or political issue in the state.
“He had also received no threat of any kind.
“The only sensitive case he was involved in was a case of kidnap and murder that concerned a community which he was handling as a defending counsel,” he said.
Calling on security operatives in Rivers State to take every necessary positive actions towards the release of Akindutire from the kidnapers’ den, OAU Law Faculty Alumni 93/94, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Secretary and Public Relations Officer, Barr. Abiola Ajayi, Barr.Olusola Young and Barr. Abdul Kehinde respectively, said: “We are very worried that his (Akintudire’s) life might be in danger if he does not get the desired quick response. We enjoin friends, family and other well-meaning Nigerians to demand for his immediate release, unharmed.
“We urge the Nigeria Police and other security agencies to do all that is necessary to secure his release. We believe that the state has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of every person, and as citizens of Nigeria, the state owes all of us that obligation to keep everyone safe and well protected.
“We are also very worried about the spate of kidnapping in Nigeria. We see this as a failure of the state to guarantee the lives of innocent citizens and we therefore call on the Inspector General of Police to take steps to tighten security across the country to protect innocent citizens from further kidnap and any attack of this nature.”