Tragedy on Thursday struck the Warri Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) following the killing of two of its members by unknown gunmen at Ozoro, administrative headquarters of Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State.
The deceased were identified as a senior lawyer in his 40s, Mr Eguono Dafiaghor, and his junior at Whytfort Jurisconsult Chambers located on Udu Road, Ovwian Town, Mr Samuel O. Ekuwanju.
The legal practitioners were reportedly found dead in the car they were traveling in, but the identity of the gunmen who apparently ambushed their car could not be ascertained.
It was learnt that the lawyers, senior and junior members of a legal firm based in Ovwian in Udu Local Government Area of the state, were handling a “high-profile case”, and for which they left their office for the court in the area on the fateful day.
Although, there were conflicting reports on whether the deceased duo were on their way to or from the court, what appeared certain is that their killers had trailed them and ambushed them around Ozoro where they were killed in cold blood.
Members of the NBA, Warri Branch, were said to be holding an emergency meeting on Friday apparently on the tragic incident, which signaled new threat to legal practice in the state.
Some members of the body were also said to be perturbed by the incident which they suspect have been carried out by assassins who motives remained a subject of speculation.
The state police command is also puzzled at the incident, which occurred on Thursday, and has asked for useful information from members of the public to enable the law enforcement agents unravel the mysterious deaths.
The spokeswoman of the Delta State Police Command, Ms Celestina Kalu, a deputy superintendent of police (DSP), confirmed the story, saying the police had commenced investigation into the incident.
She also disclosed that the remains of the two lawyers had been deposited in a hospital mortuary in Warri awaiting autopsy.
On claims credited to certain eye-witnesses that the gunmen who attacked and shot dead the lawyers were allegedly in police uniform, she said that it was premature for anyone to state with certainty the cause of their death.
Both men were found dead in their vehicle and the police investigations were ongoing, she said, urging members of the public with useful information to come up with such to help the process.
Reacting to the incident, the National Coordinator of Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence (fjhd), Mr Oghenejabor Ikimi, described the incident as both shocking and sad, wondering why lawyers who were going about their legitimate and constitutional deities could be so murdered in cold blood, if indeed their sudden death was in connection with the said high-profile case they were handling.