- Published on Thursday, 05 July 2012 12:30
- Written by Elombah.com
“EFCC Witness ran away from court after sighting Emeka Ugwuonye, forcing the today’s trial to come to an abrupt end”.
The trial of Emeka Ugwuonye for Refusal to Declare Assets came up this morning at
the Federal High Court, Abuja, before Justice Bello. The court started exactly by 9:50am. Emeka Ugwuonye sent a BBM message to his friends. The first message read:
“I am at the present time in the Nigerian court. I arrived early. It is now exactly 9:30am. We are waiting for the judge to take his seat. You may wish me luck now. My supporters are outside. Not all of them could come into the courtroom.”
Shortly after, Emeka sent a second BBM message, presumably in response to reactions to his first message. The second message, sent by 9:40am, read:
“Guess what this case is about? The EFCC is prosecuting me for ‘refusal to declare my assets’. They said I refused to declare my assets. Now they are hoping to put me in jail for 10 years for it. Talk of cruel and unusual punishment. And I am representing myself in person. By the way, I wonder why they are prosecuting me for this when President Jonathan just said he does not give a damn about asset declaration”.
Exactly 9:50am, the Judge took his seat at the bench. The case was called up. But the hearing was over in 5 minutes. What happened was that the EFCC witness who was seen the court few minutes earlier was nowhere to be found. He had told the EFCC lawyer that he was going to the toilet to ease himself. But all efforts to bring him back into the courtroom failed. Today’s case was for the examination of that witness. When the witness was nowhere to found after the case was called, the EFCC was forced to close their case.
While everybody was still wondering what happened to the EFCC witness, the lawyers received a text message from the man saying that he had developed headache and running stomach while in the toilet and that he had to go home to take his drugs and rest. Unknown to them at the time, the man had sent another text message to his colleague at the EFCC office confiding in the colleague that he did not want to be cross-examined by Emeka Ugwuonye. That message was subsequently forwarded by the colleague to the EFCC lawyers in court.
The EFCC’s case on this charge has closed. Ugwuonye requested to move for a no-case submission. The court allowed Ugwuonye 30 days to file his written address and prepare for oral argument.
As the news of what happened filtered out to Ugwuonye sent another message to friends at 10:35am. The message reads:
“I was prepared to give their witness some Nigerian pepper soup with mustard instead of pepper. But their witness lost his nerves. He ran away once he saw me. Can you imagine these jokers? I now have one month to prepare a written address seeking to end this unfortunate trial. Thanks for all your support. I shall now return to my hotel to get some rest before heading back to Washington, DC. Thank you”.
Minutes after, Ugwuonye was driven out of the court premises in a black Mercedes 500 sedan with tinted glasses to an undisclosed hotel location. When Elombah.com tried to reach him, his phone was turned off.