Journalism of Courage

Alleged assault on policewoman: MKO Abiola’s widow and lawyer, Prof. Duke-Abiola, remanded in prison

.... l'm being framed up, she says

For allegedly assaulting a policewoman, Prof. Zainab Duke-Abiola, lawyer and human rights activist and one of the widows of Chief MKO Abiola, was on Friday kept behind bars at an Abuja prison.

Duke-Abiola, who was charged before a Wuse Magistrate’s Court, was arraigned with her domestic staff, Rebecca Enechido.

She was arrested on September 20 for allegedly ordering her domestic staff to assault her female orderly, Inspector Teju Moses.

She is facing a four-count charge of criminal conspiracy, causing hurt without provocation, an attempt to commit culpable homicide and Intentional insult to cause a breach of trust.

Persecondnews reports that when the duo was arraigned, the court denied them bail and ordered their remand in Suleja Prison.

A video clip showing a female officer in uniform bleeding, sitting on the floor had gone viral during the week.

The court adjourned the case untill October 5, 2022 for the hearing of the bail application.

However, Duke-Abiola, while speaking with newsmen, accused the Nigeria Police authorities of framing her up because of her support for #EndSARS victims.

She said: “The IGP was very angry; he reduced the number of cases assigned to me because of my office at the legal department of the police. My office is there. Did you not see my letterhead paper?

“If they (Police) have another Chief Legal Consultant in Nigeria, let them bring him out. It’s no other person but me. Even the senior lawyers listen to me, so I give recommendations.

“I recommended that all these lopsided appointments of Christians by the IGP be withdrawn. I wrote to the President. Intelligent police officers, you decided to retire them.

“You need these people to fight insecurity. That’s me. Thank God that this thing happened. Who will know that I have been rendering pro bono services to the Nigeria Police Force for years?

“You said you were supporting #EndSARS people, and you called yourself our Chief Legal Consultant. Why would you be supporting those thugs, those criminals, those Lagos boys, those Tinubu boys? Yes, that’s what the IGP said.

“It appears you are working and supporting Tinubu. Openly, he said so in his office. What do you think? You supporting Tinubu. I kept quiet, I didn’t reply to him (IGP), he said so in his office. I think his office has a camera. Let them bring the recording of that meeting out.

“Is it wrong to be against police brutality, discrimination against innocent citizens, misuse of guns against Nigerians? I haven’t done anything. I don’t assault people. My hand is for healing, for good things. It’s not in my character. They were just looking for a way to embarrass me.

“It started after I came back from the United States of America and actually expressed support for #EndSARS freedom fighters openly. The IGP, Alkali Baba Usman, was not happy.

“That was where his son, one Engineer Ibrahim, stepped in and offered to take me to see the IGP for a fee. But I refused to pay any bribe and the IGP’s son, Engineer Ibrahim, took offence. He, Ibrahim, now brought his girlfriend, one misses Zara to us.

“When it was discovered that the girlfriend of the IGP’s son has sickle cell disease, my firm offered to help but Ibrahim travelled out.

“On his return, the IGP’s son kept visiting our office and not being able to get any headway. He turned 360 degrees and became an enemy and very hostile. Nobody beats up any ordnance. It is not in my character.”

She denied that the Police officer allegedly assaulted was not attached to her at the time of the alleged offence.

“I rejected her posting after realizing she has been on a peacekeeping mission to several countries and should be rehabilitated first due to her mental health.

“But she came back that particular night. I wasn’t even the one who attended to her, so how could I have given the order that she should be assaulted?”

Also, Afro-European Lawyers League on Friday issued a statement on Duke-Abiola’s behalf, saying the allegations against her were untrue.

“Our attention has been drawn to a fallacious malicious defamatory publication against our respected Alumnus of the National Institute of Policy and Security Studies, NIPPS, Professor Zainab Duke Mni alleging assault on one of her police Orderlies.

“We categorically state that this is NOT true and Nothing could be further from the truth. For the records, our respected revered Professor Zainab has Never assaulted anybody anywhere at any time. It is not in her character.

“The facts are:That on the 20th of April 2022 the IGP approved the revalidation and deployment of police Orderlies to our leader based on the fact that she is the Chief Legal Consultant to the Nigerian Police and has her office at the Force headquarters, Abuja.

“That the police consequently assigned a female police officer who was among the perpetrators of Violence against innocent Nigerian Citizens during the ENDSARS imbroglio.

“That consequent upon discovery of her Orderly’s involvement in police brutality against Nigerians that Professor Zainab rejected the posting of a brutal officer and returned the said Orderly back to Force Headquarters to her bosses and told her Bye bye on the 19th of September.

“That to our surprise around 10 pm the former Orderly returned with a Vengeance banging on our gates with some dangerous weapons including a gun threatening to kill everybody in the compound and that the police Orderly beat up family members in the Professor’s household.

“That as can be seen in the video a crowd soon gathered and there was street brawling crowd fighting and loss of properties.

“That it is very strange that the IGP will forcefully, brutally and illegally violate the fundamental Rights and liberties of a distinguished law-abiding citizen and proceed to forcefully take her pictures and maliciously publish same in the print and electronic media in this nascent democratic dispensation.”

 

 

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