A Lawyer, Emeka Ugwuonye has petitioned the National Assembly over murder and armed robbery charges preferred against him by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
He has been detained at the Kuje Medium Prison for over eleven months.
Emeka in petition written through Due Process Advocate (DPA) International, dated October 9, 2019 and signed by Kelvin Asekome, said the police charged him with armed robbery and murder because he was on the verge of exposing a N5 billion (annual revenue) of illegal prison racketeering and other illegal operations allegedly by some police officers in Abuja.
DPA was founded by Barr. Emeka, which is an international human rights and humanitarian organization 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.
“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 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 did not try 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-Adebiyu of Court 30, FCT High Court, Gudu on December 14, 2018 and he has been remanded in Kuje prison since then.”
The Petitioner explained that he got into trouble because of continuous criticism of the Police for the poor handling of Charity Aiyedegbon’s case who was missing in 2016 adding that he was arrested by the Police on July 6, 2018 and detained at Abattoir detention center where he met with Jekwu and Emmanuel Adogah who were arrested in connection with the missing Ayiedogbon.
He added that, that was the first time in his life to meet the two people arrested for the missing Ayiedogbon.
The petition reads, “Emeka spent July 6 to July 10, 2018 in Abattoir detention center. During his stay in Abattoir, he saw and heard about extreme atrocities and crimes against humanity by the Police in Abattoir.
“After Emeka’s release from custody, DPA began to make a documentary film to expose the police activities in Abattoir. On October 16, 2018, Commissioner Ciroma ordered his men to arrest Emeka again and detain him at Garki station for two days. They charged him to court on October 18, 2018 for various offences including impersonation by practicing law without license. He again was granted bail.
“Determined to totally silence Emeka and DPA, Police Commissioner Bala Ciroma on November 14, 2018 charged Emeka along with Jekwu and Emmanuel Adogah with armed robbery and murder of Charity Ayiedogbon.
“The police calculated that with a murder charge against Emeka Ugwuonye, some High Court Judges will be too timid or too scared to grant bail. And true to their calculation, the judge in the case denied bail, even without reading the proof of evidence.”
The petitioner demanded for full and proper investigation into Ayiedogbon’s case to be done by new set of police officers not connected to Bala Ciroma.
In alternative, the petitioner requested that the office of the Attorney -General of the Federation or Director of Public Prosecution should take over all prosecution in relation to Ayiedogbon’s case.
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