Two lawyers, Chukwuemeka Anyanwu and Emma Eke, have been dragged to an Owerri Chief Magistrate’s Court 1, by the Imo State Police Command.
The police preferred an eight-count charge against the lawyers, including assault on policemen on duty. The court was filled to the brim with lawyers and those who could not find a space inside the court hall to even stand, had to stand outside to observe proceedings through the window.
Over 87 lawyers were inside the court hall while no fewer than 20 were stood outside and the number kept increasing as the proceedings continued.
Soon after the matter was called up and the two lawyers moved to the dock, a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Imo State, Chief Soronnadi Njoku, leading over 86 other lawyers, appeared for the two accused legal practitioners.
While Mr. T.O.B Okey appeared for the prosecution, other lawyers that announced their appearance for the accused persons were Chris Ahumibe, Nnamdi Ozuzu, E.C Mere, Uche Wisdom Durueke, Chief H.N Duroha, Chief P.O Anyanwu and I.I Otokula.
Others included the NBA chairman, Nze Saba Nze, D.O Nosike, the immediate past NBA chairman, Lawrence U.N. Nwakaeti, the Secretary, J.S.C Osuebi, A.A Onyeji, C.H Mbakwem, the Vice chairman, I.G Ihesie, P.L Osuagwu, and 71 others.
Chief Njoku expressed his readiness to go on with the trial soon after the accused persons took their plea.
Responding, the prosecution said that although his witness was in court, he had not been able to confer with him “as the incident took place the previous day.”
He prayed the court for a short adjournment to enable him have a conference with the witness.
Chief Soronnadi vehemently opposed the application, saying that “he couldn’t have preferred a charge and signed without a conference with the complainant”.
The court refused the application for adjournment and gave the prosecution 15 minutes to confer with his witness and rose for 15 minutes.
When the court resumed, the first prosecution witness, Inspector John Nwaiwu, narrated how on July 16, 2018, the accused persons who were defending three suspected armed robbers that were arraigned in the Magistrate Court, Umuneke Ngor allegedly assaulted policemen. The Magistrate adjourned the matter to July 30, 2018 for continued hearing.