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Uwazurike appeals order of arrest, detention

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Chief Ralph Uwazuruike

Leader of the Biafra Independent Movement (BIM), Ralph Uwazurike, has appealed against the ruling of an Owerri High Court, ordering his arrest and detention till November 14, 2017.

The matter was presided over by Justice K. A. Ojiako. Uwazurike, who disclosed this in Owerri, said he had instructed his lawyer, Emma Chukwuka, to appeal the ruling made by Ojiako on October 24, 2017, in a suit: HOW/265/2013.

The case was between Uwazurike and defendants, Chigozie Iheama, a Lawyer; Commissioner of Police, Imo State; ASP Donatus Apka and Inspector Richard Ofoegbu.

He regretted that despite the pendency of an appeal he filed on the matter in Court of Appeal, Owerri in suit number CA/OW/19/2017, Justice Ojiako went ahead to try the matter on the purchase of a piece of land in Owerri for N20 million from one Eddy Ononuju.

He also expressed bias that his earlier application to transfer the case from Ojiako on the grounds of allegation of prejudice, was not carried out.

The Guardian gathered that Ojiako, on October 24, 2017, ordered that Uwazurike be arrested and detained by the police pending his appearance in court on the next adjourned date.

“That with respect to the ruling of the court on the contempt proceedings, same shall be adjourned because of the absence of the alleged contempt in court today firstly. Secondly the affidavit shall call for oral evidence to resolve it.

“That this action is adjourned to November 14, 2017 for the parties to lead oral evidence and possibly visit the locus by the Court,” he said.

Uwazurike, told journalists that he had written the Chief Judge on February 10,2017 to transfer the case from the former judge, Duruoha Igwe, the administrative judge, before she transferred it to Justice Ojiako.

He wondered why his defendants were served hearing notice in their offices on the matter, which was not earlier listed on November 22, 2016.

“I have lost confidence in Justice Ojiako’s Court and urge your Lordship to transfer this case from this court without further delay in the interest of justice,” he said.

Uwazurike also alleged that a man had approached him in person and on telephone conversations, acting like a negotiator to pay the N2 million agency fee in respect of the land transaction, and another N3.9 million for the judge and expenses incurred in the suit if the matter was to be closed, stressing that upon his refusal to pay only N2 million, he suspected that he was seeing the matter against him.



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