Threat to life by Gov Umahi: Businessman petitions Inspector-General of Police

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An Abuja-based businessman and Financial Consultant, Dr. Maurice Ibe has petitioned Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Baba over the threat to his life by the Governor of Ebony State, Engr. Dave Umahi.

Charles Ude, Esq of Charles Ude and Co, Solicitors to Dr. Ibe in a petition (Ref Nr. CU/08/08/2022) to the IGP and for the attention of DCP Tunji Disu of IGP Intelligence Response Team (IGP-IRT), Guzape, Abuja called out to the police authorities to forestall the “Illegal and Unlawful Attempt to Abduct, Kidnap and Harass Dr. Maurice Ibe by Dave Umahi, Executive Governor of Ebonyi State”.

Barrister Ude urged the IGP to proactively take steps to halt the move by the governor and the select Police Officers he has engaged for the nefarious activity against Dr. Ibe.

 Ude noted in the petition that his client, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Mauritz Walton Nigeria Limited, Abuja, had noticed clandestine moves by some Policemen around his home and office premises in unmarked vehicles, which he has reasons to suspect the men were acting on the instruction of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, consequently, the need for the IGP to protect him from being attacked or abducted by the Policemen sent after him by the Governor.

 In the said petition, the Solicitor explained that based on a Memorandum of Undertaking (MoU), Mauritz Walton Nigeria Limited and Andrew Bishopton Limited, acting as partners, entered into a working relationship that enabled them to collaborate on a consultancy contract for Ebonyi State Government, resulting in the recovery of the sum of USD119,419,427.59, (One Hundred and Nineteen Million, Four Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Four Hundred and Twenty–Seven United States Dollars, Fifty–Nine Cents) for the State, as over-deductions and miscellaneous charges wrongfully made by the federal government of Nigeria on foreign loans utilized by Ebonyi State government from 1995- 2002.

 According to him, the Ebonyi State government defaulted in the payment of the consultancy fees agreed between her and the consultants, resulting in the filing of Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/35/2022 between Andrew Bishopton Limited and the firm of his client, Mauritz Walton Nigeria Limited versus the government of Ebonyi State.

He pointed out that the originating summons which was instituted at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division, was duly served on the Defendants before the hearing commenced in the suit.  Ebonyi State government engaged the services of a legal expert to prosecute her defence at the Federal High Court. However, since his defeat at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Governor Umahi had resorted to using Abakiliki Command of the Nigerian Police Force to witch hunt his client.

Ude referred the IGP to the earlier move of Umahi which was to use the Abakaliki Police Command to swoop on his partner, Jackie Ikeotuonye, the Chief Executive Officer of Andrew Bishopton Limited.

According to the Solicitor, his client along with the Chief Executive Officer of Andrew Bishopton Limited exhausted all diplomatic means to get Umahi to pay them however, it proved abortive. As a result, they were left with no option than to drag him to the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt Division.  Consequently, on Thursday, July 21, 2022, the Court, presided over by Honourable Justice Stephen Daylop Pam passed judgement in their favour, and ordered Umahi and the Ebonyi State government to pay them the agreed amount based on the services rendered.

Unfortunately, Umahi resorted to using different means to intimidate his client and his partner including the use of the Ebonyi Command of the Nigerian Police Force who immediately swooped on her at her Abuja home, and in a frightful manner forcefully took her to Ebonyi and has been incarcerated at their facility in Abakiliki since July 31, 2022.

“Our client had observed the following of his car and the strange movement of persons in unmarked vehicles around his home and office, on or since the 31st July, 2022.  He is convinced that but for his personal security personnel, he would have suffered the same faith as Ms Jackie. He has gone into hiding on account of the same, and needs to regain his liberty and resume his normal activities which he cannot presently do with the threat of Umahi’s style of justice hanging on his neck like the “sword of Damocles”, the petition further read.

The Lawyer drew the attention of the IGP to the activities of the Abakaliki Command acting at the behest of the Governor of Ebonyi State, as well as the repeated attempts to secure his arrest and forcible movement to Abakaliki for reasons other than in furtherance of the execution of a warrant of arrest, or the execution of the lawful orders of another court which constitutes wanton breach of his fundamental rights.

Pleading for kind intervention of the IGP, the lawyer averred in the petition that his client had instructed him to bring these dastardly events to the IGP’s attention so that adequate measures could be taken to protect him, members of his family and the entire staff of Mauritz Walton Nigeria Limited from the long reach of Governor Dave Umahi, in view of his well-documented disdain for the rule of law.

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