It has been celebration galore in Rumualogu Community, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State as a result of the safe release of their illustrious son and former president of the Nigeria Bar Association, Barr. Okechukwu Wali (SAN) after two weeks in the abductors den.
The chairman of NBA in Port Harcourt, Barr. Victor Banibo who confirmed the safe release of Mr. Wali to journalists said close family sources also confirmed the good news.
He did not however state the exact time but said it was early Monday morning that he was quietly released. He also did not disclose whether ransom was paid to his abductors to secure the freedom.
Wali, a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Rivers State was abducted by unknown gunmen around the Obiri Ikwerre axis of the East/West Road in Obio/Akpor LGA. In the encounter two of his aides were shot dead and security aides injured, by the gunmen.
It would be recalled that last week Friday, April 28, 2023, a group of youths and women from the victim’s community blocked the section of the road at Rumualogu Community in a peaceful protest to draw attention and demand for his freedom from his abductors. They had expressed worry over the seeming inability of the security agencies to speedily free the senior advocate from the clutches of the kidnappers.
It would also be recalled that the legal luminary had earlier been abducted in October, 2014 and released after spending about two weeks in the kidnappers den.
When our reporter sought to speak with the released victim, the family members said he was having his rest. When contacted, the paramount ruler/Nyenweli Rumualogu community, HRH, Eze (Amb.) Ignatius Godspower Ogbumgbada in his reaction thanked God, the Rivers State governor, the security agencies and indeed everyone that contributed in the safe release of their illustrious son.
“My entire community and subjects have been in deep sorrow for the past weeks our illustrious son Barr. Okechukwu Wali (SAN) was abducted by unknown gunmen which eventually gave rise to the peaceful protest of the youths and women but today, we are happy for his release. May I used this opportunity to thank our amiable governor, Nyesom Wike all the security agencies and indeed everyone who made his safe release possible”, he declared.
It is worthy to note that since the release of the eminent lawyer, different groups and prominent individuals have been identifying with the Rumualogu Community and the Wali family.
The latest was the visit of the Akpor Lawyers Association to the monarch. At the meeting, the group had prayed and thanked God for His divine intervention which they said made the eventual release possible.