Lawyer and social media influencer Emeka Ugwuonye has regained his freedom after two years in jail as he underwent trial for what he insists are trumped-up charges.
Ugwuonye, Founder of the Due Process Advocates International (DPA), was arrested on November 26, 2018 for alleged murder and armed robbery. After 16 days in cell, he was arraigned before Justice Module Osho-Adebiyu of Court 30, FCT High Court, Gudu, on December 14, 2018, and remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre.
In a petition to the National Assembly written through DPA and dated October 9, 2019, the international lawyer alleged that the police charged him with armed robbery and murder because he was on the verge of exposing a N5 billion (annual revenue) of illegal prison racketeering and other illegal operations, allegedly by some police officers in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
Ugwuonye personally announced his freedom this morning of Thursday, December 3, 2020 via a post on the DPA Facebook Page. He was silent on the circumstances surrounding his release but full of appreciation to God, his family, friends and supporters for his freedom. Below is Barrister Ugwuonye’s post entitled “I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START”:
“After a long separation from my family, my friends and my supporters, I still don’t know where or how to start to express my appreciation for your love, your support and solidarity over the time. Let me start by saying thank you, you are fantastic people. Your love, your prayers, and your support kept me alive and strong all this while. I’m happy to tell you that I love you too and I will never disappoint you.
“While in prison, I would pray to God and say: “Please, God, keep me alive, keep my friends, my supporters and my loved ones alive and in good health because I want to meet them again. I want to be with them again. I want to tell them my experience. I want to share good time with them again”. Today, this moment, as you read this message, you are a living testimony that God answered my prayers and granted my requests.
“The period that I was away was a profound one for me. It was a period for me to pause to think about the worth of my commitment to help change our society and make it more just, more fair, more balanced and more equal. And I was convinced that there will be no going back on that commitment. It was a period of a thousand temptations. But I refused to follow the selfish path. In that period, Satan tempted me many times, but God gave me strength to withstand such temptations. God gave me the knowledge to understand our world, our country and our people a whole lot better. In that period, God gave me clear vision and wholesome energy and fortifications for the task ahead.
“The journey to our destination may still be long, but surely, it has started. The train has left the station. And we shall get there. Those who thought that a specially engineered prison time for me would stop DPA’s mission were so terribly mistaken. Clearly, they didn’t understand DPA and they didn’t understand me.
“While I was in prison, I prayed for you. And now that I am with you, let us pray for all those still suffering unjust imprisonment all over Nigeria. And may I end this brief address by assuring you that the ordeal I went through has helped us more than it could have hurt us. It brought us closer to the answer to one of the puzzles we faced – what happened to that poor lady, Charity (Chacha) Aiyedegbon?
“Again thank you very much and God bless you.”