Leader of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM and founder of Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, yesterday alleged that Justice Kemakolam Ojiako, the presiding Judge of an Owerri High Court convicted him for one-month imprisonment because he (Uwazuruike) refused to succumb to his N3million gratification demand.
He also alleged that the defendant in the land matter which is the subject matter, Chigozie Iheama, a lawyer in the land case which is a matter, was working in Justice Ojiako’s office when Ojiako himself was just a lawyer, adding that even now that he is a judge, Iheama is still the manager of his (Judge’s) businesses.
In a press statement issued in Onitsha, Anambra State and signed on his behalf, by his Biafra’s Director of Information/Media Assistant, Mazi Chris Mocha, Uwazuruike, therefore, called on the National Judicial Council, NJC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to probe the Judge for allegedly demanding the of N3 million gratification from him to pervert the course of Justice in the land dispute involving himself (Uwazuruike) and the Judge’s business manager, Iheama.
Uwazuruike insisted that it was as a result of his refusal to yield to the demand for gratification that fetched him the one-month imprisonment for contempt and disobedience of court order.
He demanded that in the course of its investigations, the NJC should concentrate in unravelling whose particular interest the Judge was serving, even as he recalled that the former Director of Department of State Services, DSS in Imo State, Mr Alex .O. Amechina (now retd) had in 2005 demanded a sum of N5 million as police protection fee to stop the incessant raids on MASSOB’s freedom house at Okwe.
Uwazuruike further recalled that when he brought the N5 million bribery allegation against Amechina to the public domain, Amechina was quickly recalled to DSS Headquarters, Abuja, investigated and transferred to training School in Jaji, Jos, Plateau state, as a punitive measure.
On why he did not appear in court, the statement quoted Uwazuruike as insisting that with his status as head of state of New Biafra Nation, he has no business appearing in court because he is covered by immunity.
“I am the Head of state of New Biafra nation and Heads of States do not appear in court because they are covered by immunity. The judge said I should appear before him but I can’t appear before him because I am covered by immunity and besides, I don’t appear before corrupt judges”.
“You can’t ask me to come to your court when you have asked me to give you the financial gratification of N3 million and I petitioned you to the NJC. Also, the case is currently before the Court of Appeal and the judge of the lower court has no jurisdiction over a matter that is above his jurisdiction”, the statement concluded.
It would be recalled that the judge had ruled that Uwazuruike was hereby found guilty of contempt and disobedience to the order of the court made on April 2, 2017, adding that consequently, Uwazuruike is hereby committed/sentenced to prison custody and shall be so detained for a period of one month from the date of his commitment to prison.