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The former president was captured by the kidnappers Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Okey Wali, has been released after being held captive for two weeks.
This was announced by the president of the NBA, Yakubu Maikyau, on Monday.
Mr. Maikyau, the Solicitor General of Nigeria (SAN), said the 26th NBA president was released after 14 days in captivity.
“I spoke to him personally and he is in good spirits,” said Mr Maikyau.
Mr Maikyau did not give details of how Mr Wali’s release was achieved.
While thanking Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and the police authorities for their “interventions”, Mr. Maikyau “reiterated our call on the Federal Government to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians in all its branches.”
The 64-year-old Advocate General of Nigeria was abducted along East-West Road on April 17 in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
The NBA said Mr Wali was abducted after his convoy was attacked by kidnappers on the road.
The attack, based on the association’s narrative, overwhelmed the two policemen in the convoy who escaped with gunfire.
Two of Mr. Wali’s personal assistants died from gunshot wounds during the kidnappers’ attack and were later taken away, the NBA said.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how, about a week agoMr. Maikyau led a delegation of NBA officials and other senior lawyers to Mr. Wali’s family in Port Harcourt.
He also met with the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State during his visit to Port Harcourt.
He did not disclose details of the closed-door meeting, nor any efforts to secure Mr. Wali’s release.
“Every life is precious and should be treated with honor and dignity,” Mr Maikyau said on Tuesday.
“Deliberate and appropriate investment must be made to improve the well-being of all security agencies, particularly the Police, and properly equip them to function effectively and efficiently.”
It was Mr. Wali’s second kidnapping in less than a decade.
In October 2014, months after his tenure as NBA president, Mr. Wali was abducted near Port Harcourt and held captive for days before being released.
Mr. Wali was the 26th president of the NBA between 2012 and 2014. There are four former presidents of the association between him and Mr. Maikyau, who took the 31st position last year.
Read the NBA president’s statement in full
May 1, 2023
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE BAR ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, MR YAKUBU CHONOKO MAIKYAU, REGARDING THE DEPOSIT OF MR. OK THAT’S IT
To the glory of God Almighty, I am pleased to announce the release and return of Mr. Okey Wali, SAN to his family. I spoke to him personally and he is in good spirits. The 26th NBA President was abducted and detained for 14 days following a brutal attack on his convoy on April 17, 2023 along EastWest Road, Obio Akpor Local Government Area. All well wishers stood by the family of Mr. Okey Wali, SAN, in thoughts, prayers and actions during this terrible ordeal.
I appreciate the interventions of the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Nyesom Wike; Inspector General of Police; Director General of the Department of State Services; Commissioner of Police and Director of State Service, Rivers State; together with all their officers and men, who had labored unceasingly since the ugly incident.
I would like to thank all the members of both the Bench and the Bar for showing their friendship during this trial period. Support, prayers and good will have contributed greatly in our efforts to secure the safe release of our brother and leader. The leadership and members of the Rivers State Bar have been fantastic. We thank God Almighty for answering our prayers and for the safe return of Mr. Okey Wali, SAN.
We reiterate our call to the Federal Government to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians in all its branches.
Every life is precious and should be treated with honor and dignity. Deliberate and adequate investment must be made to improve the well-being of all security agencies, particularly the Police, and equip them properly to function effectively and efficiently. Otherwise, it will be hypocritical, if not fraudulent, to expect any meaningful results from the Nigerian Police in its constitutional duty to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians.
It can only be given from the abundance of what it has. As our past President recovers from the experience of this ordeal, I pray that God will comfort the families of those who died in the incident and grant them eternal rest. I also pray for the recovery of the policemen who were injured by gunfire as a result of the incident. I thank you all.
Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, PRESIDENT SAINT
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