I Did Not Abduct Chibok Girls To US, Lawyer Tells Court
An Abuja High Court today heard how, following the failure of the Nigerian embassy in USA to assist the Chibok girls, a Washington-based human rights lawyer, Barrister Emmanuel Ogebe, was constrained to raise funds for their support.
Barrister Ogebe spoke under cross examination by the government’s defense counsel in a multimillion dollar defamation he instituted against Aisha Alhassan, Minister of Women Affairs.
He said in 2015 he had approached the Nigerian embassy in Washington but “when the government failed to assist its citizens, as a decent person, I had to raise funds” to take care of the Chibok girls which is the “standard practice of NGOs worldwide.”
There was a mild courtroom drama when defense counsel asked the plaintiff if he had obtained parental consent before sponsoring 10 Chibok girls abroad.
A visibly irritated plaintiff, Emmanuel Ogebe replied from the stand “I did not abduct the Chibok girls and take them to the US.”
The defense counsel to the government tried to interrupt his answer saying “yes that’s not at issue”.
Ogebe replied “I am not a member of Boko Haram and I didn’t abduct the girls. They lawfully exited the borders of Nigeria to the US.”
When asked if he had proof of parental consent, Barrister Ogebe had prayed the court to oblige him his briefcase from where he tendered an exhibit of the consent.
A palpably perturbed defense counsel then asked why he hadn’t tendered the exhibit previously.
“I don’t believe the accusations against me are that I kidnapped the girls. I must have had parental consent to take them out of the country.
Otherwise I don’t know how 10 Chibok girls can leave the shores of Nigeria without the permission of their parents,” the human rights lawyer replied.
“It is moot that I am not a member of Boko Haram and I did not abduct them. The lawfully exited the borders of Nigeria.” He added.
The trial continues today May 31st in Abuja High Court in Jabi, an Abuja municipal.