Ugwuonye who is a US-based Nigerian lawyer and founder of The Due Process Advocates (DPA) was arrested yesterday (Friday) night. Efforts are being made to confirm exact where he is detained but some people say he is at SARS office in Abuja.
Most DPA members are saying it ma be unconnected to his taking up the case of finding the missing woman, Charity ‘Chacha’ Aiyedogbon.
He is currently said to be interrogated by the police. Just before he was whisked away by men of the CID, the activist posted Friday afternoon on the DPA Facebook page:
“ALERT, ALERT, ALERT: STRANGE MEN IN MY OFFICE LOOKING FOR ME
I just heard that three strange men are in my office in Victoria Island asking to see me. My staff contacted me on the phone. I am heading back to my office to know who they are. We believe they are policemen or people from the secret service. And we believe they are after me.
As I have always maintained, I am not going to run away from anybody in this country. I am going to my office now to meet them. Every indication is that they are going to arrest me. As you know in Nigeria, they prefer to arrest people on Fridays so that they can detain you over the weekend without appearing to have violated your rights.
I want all members of DPA to be aware of this possibility. If i meet them and it turns out that they are not there to kidnap me, then I will make another post to clear the air. I used the word “kidnap” because I know I have not committed any crime or broken any law to justify my being arrested.
I only know that I have offended some powerful people. I have stepped on the toes of some evil men in this country and they are mad at me and they would like to neutralize me. I know that I have been living in that danger for some time now.
So, regardless of what happens, I will not relent in my struggles and fight for justice in this country. I will not keep quiet as long as I have the ability to speak or to express myself.
In case this is the last message I would be sending to you, either now or for all times, you must all stay strong and understand that there is no alternative to fighting against injustice. There should never be that moment, when it will become an option for you to support injustice. Between justice and injustice, there is no option. You must support justice and you must fight injustice. That is what I have done and that is how I have annoyed a lot of people.
If these men are from government and they are taking me away, I shall go with pride and honor. I shall not resist and if they accord me due process, I shall defeat them because my cause is just and righteous.
And for those who may think I should not go to my office or that I should run, there is nowhere for me to run to. A golden fish cannot hide. I shall face all challenges with fortitude and courage and God is my protector. And that is what I demand of you, if tomorrow it becomes your turn.
Thank you and God bless.”
Later that evening, Ugwuonye sent this text message to one of his close associates,
“In case this is the last message I would be sending to you, either now or for all times, you must all stay strong and understand that there is no alternative to fighting injustice ” – Barrister Emeka Ugwuonye.
From his post and updates on the DPA forum, it isn’t clear whether he was arrested in Lagos and later transferred to Abuja.
I shall post updates as events unfold.