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Wike: How I was framed for robbery while contesting chairmanship in 1998



Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, has narrated how he was framed for armed robbery in 1998 when he decided to contest the chairmanship of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, in Rivers state.

The governor narrated his ordeal while eulogising Emmanuel C. Ukala, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, on the occasion of his 65th birthday.

The governor also recalled how a chieftaincy dispute in his community led to the arrest and detention of his father, himself and other family members.

According to him, Ukala not only intervened and secured his release, but also defended him from the tribunal up to the Supreme Court when some vested interest in the council desperately attempted to deprive him to be sworn into office as Obio-Akpor council chairman.

“Throughout my chairmanship matter in 1998, when we had election down to April 4, 2000, when Supreme Court finally decided my matter, he never took one Naira.”

Governor Wike stated that when the Rivers State election petition tribunal annulled the 2015 governorship poll which he won convincingly, he contacted some lawyers to defend him in the matter and they demanded as much as N300 to N600 million as their legal fee but when he approached Ukala, whom he described as a mentor, he was offered free legal service.

“Then my governorship election, most people may not believe it, from governorship tribunal down to Supreme Court, he never collected one dime,” Wike stated.

On how his father was saved from the allegation of murder, the governor said it was Ukala, who led the legal battle for his family to be discharged and acquitted during the ordeal.

“The entire family was charged for murder. Every male was taken away. We only had women left in the house with children between the ages of one and five. As at that time, I was reading law at the then Rivers State University of Science and Technology, now Rivers State University,” he said.

Wike said the senior lawyer, in whose firm he worked after leaving the Nigerian Law School, took his family’s ordeal very personal and gave his best to it.

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