Detained lawyer petitions NASS over murder charges




After 11 months detention in Kuje Prison over “false and fabricated murder and armed robbery charges,” a lawyer, Mr Emeka Ugwuonye, has petitioned the National Assembly for the role played by the police in his current ordeal.

In the petition written through Due Process Advocate International (DPA), dated October 9 and signed by Mr Kelvin Asekome, he said the police charged him with armed robbery and murder because he was at the verge of exposing a N5billion (annual revenue) of illegal prison racketeering and other illegal operations allegedly perpetrated by some police officers in Abuja.

DPA, founded by Ugwuonye, is an international human rights and humanitarian organisation registered under the law of State of Maryland, United States and Federal Republic of Nigeria

The petition reads in part: “On November 14, 2018, a police officer from the office of the Commissioner of Police, FCT Abuja Command, CP Bala Ciroma served on Barrister Emeka Ugwuonye (hereinafter “Emeka”) summons, charging him with armed robbery and murder, offences the police knew that Emeka could not have committed and absolutely did not commit.

He said: “The charges were purely an effort to use the prosecutorial power of the police to silence Emeka, who was in the process of exposing a 5 billion naira (annual revenue) of illegal prison racketeering and other illegal operations run by Mr Ciroma and some other police officers in Abuja alone.

“Upon serving Emeka with the summon, the police officer said to him: ‘You better go back to the US now’, Mr Ciroma expected Emeka to leave Nigeria upon being served with summons. Hence, he said they tried not to arrest Emeka for murder upon serving him with the court processes that charged him with murder and armed robbery. But as Emeka remained defiant and refused to leave Nigeria as expected by the police, he was arrested on November 26, 2018 on those charges.

“After sixteen days in cell, Emeka was arraigned before Justice Modupe Osho-Adebiyi of Court 30, FCT High Court, Gudu on December 14, 2018, and he has been remanded in Kuje prison since then.”

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