Controversial attorney Emeka Ugwuonye, who used to be based in the US and had a run-in recently with Nigerian security services, has turned up in Enugu, the capital of Enugu State to defend people being prosecuted for being members of the separatist Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
“Many things will shock you if you knew the truth. Even I didn’t know the truth about this case until I entered the Enugu court this morning.
As I thought of the alleged protesting IPOB people, my mind fixated on some youths, people between 13 and 25 years of age, expectedly boys and men. Those were the people I went to defend. But guess what! The Nigerian police actually arrested women in their 40s and 50s and called them IPOB members and charged them criminally for belonging to an illegal group.
Tears came down my eyes when I saw them. This is a gross abuse of the prosecutorial power of the state.
Make no mistake about it: it is not a crime to be a member of IPOB per se. So this trial is a sham. Anyway, the trial can’t go forward because the Attorney General of the state had not given his consent which is something that must happen before the case could continue. The case was adjourned till April 5 in order for the police to get the consent of the Attorney General.
Well, why wait? I proceeded to the Attorney General’s and had a good meeting with the Director of Public Prosecution, who is the one to give or not to give the consent. I urged him to not give any consent, but to throw the charges into the rubbish bin.
Anyway, look at pictures of the poor people they are prosecuting. Look at these poor souls they are falsely accuse of being IPOB protesters and judge for yourselves.”