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CUPP spokesman, Ugochinyere, narrates ordeal in detention

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja
24 June 2020   |   3:56 am
Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, yesterday narrated his ordeal in the hands of policemen during and after his arrest last week.

Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, yesterday narrated his ordeal in the hands of policemen during and after his arrest last week.

Ugochinyere, who was released on Monday, also claimed that his arrest by the police was motivated by a petition authored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, Ugochinyere described his detention as one of the numerous benefits of being a soldier of truth and apostle of the rule of law. His words, “We were not cowed, neither did we negotiate nor trade-off our right to free speech as our oppressors desired.

“On Thursday, June 18, 2020, about 5:30p.m., I was abducted in a violent manner by men of the Nigeria Police Force as I stepped out of the Headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) where I had attended a meeting to regularise the Edo and Ondo governorship primaries schedule of the Action Peoples Party (APP), a political party I chair.

“Following my abduction, I was shown a petition authored and engineered by i Gbajabiamila and the clerk of the House of Representatives forwarding a resolution of the House where the police were directed to arrest me following comments I made about the shady attempt to pass the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, comments that I strongly stand on for, which even in international and local fora we have been commended for standing against the plot of using of our legislature to pursue sinister objectives.”

He said that before his arrest, which he said had no warrant, he had challenged the setting up of an ad hoc committee by the speaker against whom he made the comments, as the law forbids him to be a judge in his own case.

The CUPP spokesman explained that courts granted certain orders, including restraining the police from arresting or detaining him in any manner or give effect to the very resolution of the House, which had been forwarded to the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

“Despite that these orders were served on the House and the police, they both, in flagrant disobedience, authored the petition and arrested me.

“When I was asked to make my cautionary statement by the police I wrote that there was a valid and subsisting order of court which I would not aid them to violate, as their act of arresting me was unlawful and illegal.”

“The court had barred Femi and his kangaroo panel from sitting, but he ignored it; the court barred him from making any resolution, but he intimidated and misled the House to make a resolution against me; the court barred him from sending the report to police and Department of State Services (DSS) and for an arrest or investigation not be made based on the documents, but they disobeyed the court. Despite all the above, they summarily threw me into the overcrowded cell in Maitama Police Station despite the COVID-19 dangers for a non-existent offence.”He added that his lawyers obtained a further order of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court for his unconditional release.

“Also the Abuja Chief Magistrate Court before whom the Police arraigned me granted me bail, the conditions of which I have perfected and here we are,” he said. Ugochinyere appreciated Nigerians, the media, his team of lawyers and others who assisted him during his trying times.