The former governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, has petitioned the inspector general of police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, over allegations of ‘unlawful and malicious prosecution, harassment, intimidation, defamation and false information at the behest of Ms Chinyere Amuchienwa-Igwegbe’ against him.
Chief Ohakim, in the petition issued by his counsel of record, Barr Aloy Ejimakor of Adulbert Legal Services, and made available to our correspondent in Owerri, Friday, referred to a petition written by the former governor to the IGP, dated 20th January 2020, where he complained about assault on his person by Ms Chinyere Amuchienwa-Igwegbe at a hotel in Abuja and other unlawful acts by her towards him.
Ohakim, in the petition, complained that his being charged with matters bordering on false information when he is the complainant ‘does not comport to reason’. According to his counsel, “The complaint of our client was still under investigation by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Federal Investigation Bureau (FIB), in connection with which our client and Ms Amuchienwa were interviewed several times at the office of DIG – FIB when on 7th September, 2020, the Special Tactical Squad of the same FIB extended a new invitation to our client over a fresh petition brought by Ms Igwegbe on the same matter. And this was just days after our client was invited by the National Agency for Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) over the similar petition by Ms Amuchienwa against our client, and which petition she concealed from the police.”
The counsel said because the matter was now bordering on prosecution, “We commenced judicial proceedings to protect our client’s constitutional rights, pursuant to which the court – on 10th September, 2020 – issued a restraining order for all parties in the suit to maintain the status quo. Mr Ejimakor said the orders and processes were duly served on the concerned police officers, including former CP Legal (Mr Osayemo), and wondered why the police had, from 21st September to the present, ‘ostensibly on the improper promptings of Ms Amuchienwa, filed two separate charges against our client in two separate courts, containing myriad allegations that are so wild that it seems a stretch to relate them to anything our client might have done’. He added that it was in the know of Ohakim’s legal team that ‘a third round of charges is underway’.
The counsel continued that, “The first round of charges was grounded on the assault incident at the Abuja Hotel, in which our client was the complainant. How the whole story later changed to the point that our client has been charged for false information does not comport with reason. How was the conclusion reached, in the same vein, that our client was defrauding Nigerians (including the Ms Igwegbe), using the name of Babatunde Fashola, the minister for works? It is clear from the land documents (which the police have) that the land in question does not belong to our client, so how come the police believed Ms Igwegbe that she paid N500m to our client for a land that is not in the name of our client? And how did Ms Igwegbe effect said payments? And how could she make such huge payments without our client executing any instrument of transfer of title, such as a Deed of Assignment or even a simple receipt?”
He therefore urged the police to resolve the issues before charging Ohakim for ‘defrauding Ms Igwegbe of N500m, which charges they libelously published in both mainstream and social media’.
On the allegation of Ms Igwegbe that Chief Ohakim ‘photoshopped or filmed her’, and published her nude video in viral social media, Ohakim’s lawyer averred that, “Ms Igwegbe, either by herself or through counsel, has variously made the said video available to the police and other agencies she petitioned on the same allegations, all in a desperate attempt to frame our client. At the same time, she proceeded to make an audio recording of her voice, accusing our client of having made the nude video. It does not comport with prosecutorial best practices for our client to be charged for either making, photoshopping or publishing such nude video without forensic evidence directly implicating our client.
“For this reason, we hereby call for forensic investigations of who actually made the video, whether it is real or photoshopped and from whose phone or other device it was first published or sent out.”
Barr Ejimakor’s position is that ‘the way and manner of his (Ohakim’s) prosecution in various courts at the behest of the same nominal complainant (Ms Igwegbe) is reprehensible, unethical, unprofessional and condemnable, and ought not be allowed to stand’.
He therefore prayed the IGP to “use your good offices to disavow these reprehensible conducts by discontinuing these prosecutions and bringing all the parties back to the status quo ante. We request your firm directives that these criminal charges be withdrawn forthwith and the complaints of our client properly and thoroughly investigated. If at the conclusion of your investigation, you found our client’s petition to lack sufficient merit to ground prosecution of Ms Igwegbe, then you have the discretion to discountenance it instead of turning around to prosecute our client for ‘false information’ as your officers are now doing. We contend that such is not a normal prosecutorial practice by the police, otherwise there will be millions of Nigerians being prosecuted for false information to the police merely because they dared to initiate a petition. It’s gross injustice on the part of the former CP Legal (Osayemo) to file charges against our client in flagrant disobedience of a court order against such.
“That Ms Igwegbe be required to produce self-authenticating evidence of having paid our client N500m for a land that she clearly saw from the documents that does not belong to our client. For avoidance of doubt, our client had a franchise to sell the said land and he gave Ms Igwegbe the title documents on trust when she claimed she could get a buyer in return for partaking in the agency commission. It is a normal thing done customarily in Nigeria when it comes to selling any landed property.
“That Ms Igwegbe must produce credible evidence of how our client used the said land (that is not in his name) to defraud her and other Nigerians, and using the name of Babatunde Fashola, minister for works.
“That Ms Igwegbe must produce evidence of all the receipts and the name of the person who took delivery of the items she claimed our client purchased from her in the amount of one hundred and ten million naira; and why she is variously stating the amount in euros and naira.
“That the nude video upon which our client is now being charged be subjected to a thorough forensic investigation to determine, between our client and Igwegbe, who made the video; whether the video is real or photoshopped, who first sent the video out from the device with which it was made and the person(s) to whom the video was sent and when?
“That Ms Igwegbe be required to produce credible scientific or forensic evidence that our client is in the unholy business of making indecent videos of women in cahoots with others, as alleged and published by Ms Igwegbe in the said audio.
“That given that both Ms Igwegbe’s initial petition was about monies she claims our client owes her (for land purchased and chattels bought from her shop), these prosecutions should be closed forthwith because the Nigeria Police is neither a debt collection agency, nor should Ms Igwegbe be allowed to twist what she initially presented as a mere civil monetary dispute, only to later turn to making unsubstantiated criminal allegations in a clumsy design to embroil the police in what is fundamentally a civil matter.
“That Ms Igwegbe be required to produce evidence from the DSS (Directorate of State Security) of the proof that it was our client that made (filmed or photoshopped) and distributed the said indecent video, as she alleged was given to her by DSS.
“That Ms Igwegbe be charged for all the criminal offences disclosed in her misconducts since the inception of this whole saga and from the contents of this petition.”