The day was Friday, March 1, 2019; the programme was “Special Interview” anchored by Oni Michael Omololu and Sampson Eze of Flo FM, 94.9 Umuahia.
The live interview was ongoing when suddenly there was a fear-provoking bang on the live studio entrance door followed by a freakish yell of “Arrest him! He is the criminal” from a white goatee facial hair pint-sized so-called human rights lawyer ACB Agbazuere.
The passion with which he executed the assignment showed that he was a cat’s paw to desperate politicians; a professional errand boy than what he would have us believe. I do not know about any landmark legal case won by Agbazuere but judging by his zealousness, to arrest and jail me (by hook or by crook) was his highest.
I had wondered what he stood to get as a reward until his appointment as the chief of staff to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. Trust our police officers to go post-haste to action if adequately motivated and mobilized. So, like zombies, the gun-wielding police officers, led by an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), responded with alacrity. They were almost popping champaign as they dragged me out of the studio downstairs.
Downstairs, political thugs loyal to our human right lawyer (who loves dressing in white kaftan) were stationed strategically within the radio station’s premises. Probably looking to justify one of the trumped-up charges (illegal possession of firearms) against me, the ASP, his team of police officers and the political thugs tried all possible means to provoke my police orderly to anger.
He was hit on the chest severally and disrespected for demanding to know the police station we were going to. All his warnings that his uniform should be respected were ignored by these men who expected him to lose his cool and fire a shot. I am sure they were disappointed by his professionalism.
I was bundled into a police pick-up van to the Police Headquarters in a Gestapo-style to the satisfaction of the pint-sized human right lawyer with a white-bearded goatee. One of his allies, a police prosecutor, Barrister Chidi Obilor, who has a striking resemblance to Fido Dido, the 7Up cartoon character of the early 90s, immediately joined us at the station to facilitate my journey to Afara prison.
Covered in his sweat that dripped from his goatee, apparently because of the tiring errand to facilitate my incarceration, Agbazuere excitedly called “Papa Ukwu” and broke the news of my arrest to him. “Evudulam Don Norman, Police Headquarters. Aga ivuduya Magistrate Court, from there to Afara Prison.”
At the magistrate, Agbazuere was standing like a thin god while Mr Fido Dido handed the already prepared charge sheet to the court clerk who read them out to me. You needed to see the bold smile of satisfaction on their faces when the magistrate ordered that I be remanded.
They hugged themselves as the phone got busier. “Ngwafugi lamgi ivudu ya Afara? Don Norman ga irioriri nde oke mmadu, signaa agreement la ogadighi inwa ya anwa odo, ime nde oke mmadu attack,” was the response from a supposedly human rights lawyer.
Human rights lawyers are to protect the rights of humans without prejudice. They are to investigate, assess, and defend those people under court cases that involve torture and abuse. But in Abia State, the number of persons awaiting trials in prison through petitions from Agbazuere’s chambers shows who he is.
To be continued…