Onitsha Okotoko Murders: 30 Lawyers Jostle To Defend Hotel Owner

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30 lawyers are currently fighting to represent the owner of Upper Class Hotel, Chief Bonaventure Mokwe arrested in connection with the recovery of two human heads in Onitsha Anambra state.

Court4Reporters have gathered that the lawyers described the demolition of the hotel on the orders of the state governor Peter Obi as hasty and a jungle justice. The lawyers said the Governor might have been misinformed on due process and acted out unlike his usual way of listening to all sides and getting all facts like he did in a case of a hotel in Nkpor whose proprietor was allegedly said to be harbouring kidnappers.

As part of their move to defend the hotel owner, the 30 lawyers have differently petitioned Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, and Anambra State Police Commissioner (CP), Bala Nasarawa to intervene on the matter to unmask the men behind the scene by ordering a full-scaled investigation on the human heads saga. Dr. M. N. Umenweke and F. N. Ibeh, solicitors to the Mokwe, led the team of over 30 lawyers in the petition, while Kachi J.

Bielu and co. wrote another petition separately. They said Mokwe was very well known in Onitsha area and was not known as a killer and added that it was on condition of conviction, after proper investigation had been conducted, that the real suspects and perpetrators of the act would be exposed.

The lawyers will be heading to an Onitsha High Court to seek for the fundamental rights of Mokwe, in pursuant to Order 11 Rules 1 and 2 of enforcement procedures 2009, Section 33, 34 and 35 of the constitution of Nigeria.

In their petition to the IGP and CP, Kachi J Bielu and co. of the Supreme Court of Nigeria tagged: ‘a trump up allegation against Chief Bonaventure Mokwe,’ they appealed to the IGP and CP to call for a full scaled investigation into the matter to unravel the persons behind the frame up of their client.

“It is our instruction to appeal to you to use your good offices to send a crack team from the state criminal investigators from FCID or the monitoring unit and transfer the case to police formations, where the case will be properly handled and investigated.

“It is the belief of our client that if this allegation is not thoroughly investigated by competent and unbiased hands, these unmitigated and dangerous elements will continue to set innocent people up over one allegation or other in the state.”

“We appeal to you and urge you to get the police at Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Awkuzu to transfer the case to Abuja and where a full scale investigation will be conducted to unravel the persons behind this act and curtail their activities.”

Another set of lawyers, numbering over 30, led by Dr. M. N. Umenweke and F. N. Ibeh, also solicitors to Mokwe, lamented the arrest, detention and humiliation of the hotel owner before dumping him into SARS detention camp as a criminal, which he was not known for.

Umenweke and co insisted that some people planted the human skulls in the hotel and succeeded because the police were biased already against Mokwe, owing to skirmishes and conflicts usually associated with land matters in which Mokwe was involved.

They further demanded to know who made the complaint to the police and why government should demolish the only evidence against Mokwe, which was the hotel.

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