Eyewitness: How the Lawyers Arrested at Umuneke Magistrate Court Regained Freedom

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A lawyer Chukwuma Udoka who was in court during the arraignment and release of the two lawyers arrested at Magistrate Court Umuneke gave his own account of what transpired. Read below:

“On the case with respect to the two lawyers arrested at a sitting magistrate Court in Umuneke, they were arraigned before the Chief Magistrate at Owerri Municipal in Imo State on Friday being the 20th of July, 2018.

Gentlemen, allow me to convey to you the juicy details of what transpired in the court.

The bar was filled to the brim with lawyers whose emotions were running damn high. Men were mad, pissed and infuriated about the treatments already metted on their colleagues by the Policemen.

The two lawyers went into the dock, the younger one Barr Chukwuemeka Anyanwu nursing a goatie, a pair of glasses and a rumpled overnight white shirt with a pair of black pants. The other, Barr Emma Eke the elderly one putting on a torn suit, dirt stained white shirt as well as pair of black pants.

It was an 8 counts charge bordering on conspiracy, aiding and abetting accused persons in escaping as well as assaulting policemen. Gentlemen, just imagine the irony. Assaulting armed men by unarmed men.

Anyway, my Boss S.A Njoku appeared with more than 70 lawyers in solidarity to their colleagues for the accused persons. I saw the past NBA chairman, the present one and host of other senior lawyers there. Some people were even standing.

They took pleas of not guilty. S.A Njoku quickly told the Court he was ready to proceed to hearing right away. It’s our colleague, so its expected we die here today (my words ooh) Prosecutor wanted an adjournment. Tempers went sour. Heated words were exchanged. ‘You can’t do rubbish at the police station and come here and do rubbish’. ‘Allow me to finish addressing the Court before you reply’ were few of the heated words exchanged

‘Calm down everyone’ by your Worship was the order of the day. Jokes were later made by both Counsel. Men laughed, Your Worship laughed and tempers eased off. Matter later went on and witness was fielded. Bail was granted on self recognizance, vehicle seized was released back to one of the accused persons and matter was adjourned to Monday.

Today for once to my observation, lawyers came to the rescue. This is what NBA entails. We fight for our own like we are fighting for ourselves.”

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