An Abuja High Court on Wednesday heard how, following the failure of the Nigerian embassy in USA to assist the Chibok girls, a Washington-based human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe was constrained to raise funds for their support.
Under cross examination by the Federal Government’s defense counsel in a multimillion dollar defamation Ogebe instituted against the minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, Ogebe said in 2015 he had approached the Nigerian embassy in Washington but the government failed to assist its citizens.
He therefore said that as a decent person, he had to raise funds to take care of the Chibok girls which he stressed is the “standard practice of NGOs worldwide.”
There was however a mild courtroom drama when the defense counsel asked the plaintiff (Barrister Ogebe) if he obtained parental consent before sponsoring 10 Chibok girls abroad.
A visibly irritated Ogebe replied from the stand and said; “I did not abduct the Chibok girls and take them to the US.”
As the defense counsel to the government tried to interrupt his answer saying “yes that’s not at issue”, Ogebe further said; “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, Ogebe quickly 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 and Ogebe replied saying; “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.
“It is moot that I am not a member of Boko Haram and I did not abduct them. They lawfully exited the borders of Nigeria.” he enthused.
Trial continues 31st May, 2018 .