Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL)
29 E Close, Kado Estate, Abuja.
22nd December, 2014.
His Excellency Godswill Akpabio,
Governor of Akwa Ibom State,
Akwa Ibom State.
Dear His Excellency,
THE ARREST AND PROSECUTION OF MR ODUDU UKPANAH
The above subject refers.
We are writing on behalf of the Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL). The PILL is an advocacy group of progressive Nigerian lawyers committed to the promotion of fundamental liberties and the defence of the rule of law, including the right to fair trial.
We write to express our concerns regarding the media reports of the arrest and prosecution of Mr Odudu Ukpanah, the only son of Engineer Albert Ukpanah, the slain stalwart of your party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on what many perceptive legal observers have called trumped up criminal charges.
The circumstances surrounding the arrest and prosecution of Mr Odudu Akpanah are well known. However, one fact that bears restating here is the findings of the Investigating Police Officer, Sergeant Ibidero, which irrefutably point to the innocence of Mr Odudu Ukpanah. The findings of Sergeant Ibidero read in part thus: ‘’in view of the above findings, the following suggestions are proffered. Since investigation into the case is still on, it is wise to nose around for more information that may reveal the real killers of Hon (Eng) Albert Ukpanah, as the killing might be politically motivated assassins. Above is for your consideration and further directive please’’.
In the light of the foregoing, we respectfully urge you to compel your Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to file a Nolle Prosequi in exercise of his powers under Section 211(1) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and discontinue the criminal trial of Mr Odudu Ukpanah. The discontinuance of the criminal trial which invariably prevents the continuing abuse of legal process is consistent with the public interest and justice.
Please, accept the assurances of our highest consideration as we anticipate your kind acknowledgement of our letter.
Abdul Mahmud, ESQ