By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRIâ€”Wife of detained leader of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Mrs. Ngozi Uwazuruike, has expressed serious concern over the safety of her husband.
Mrs. Uwazuruike, who addressed journalists in Owerri at the weekend, pointed out that the inability or refusal of prison authorities to produce her husband in court to face the charges brought against him by the Nigerian government,Â remained a clear pointer that her husband might not be alive after all.
She said that the charge of abduction and kidnapping leveled at her husband could not go on as scheduled because the prison authorities could not produce him in court and the matter had to be further adjourned to 27 April 2010, by the trial judge, Justice Ohakwe.
â€œI am not happy with the way the case is being handled. I am not even sure that Chief Uwazuruike is alive. If he is alive, what prevents them from producing him in court despite several warrants of production issued by the court,â€ Mrs. Uwazuruike querried.
She was of the opinion that if her husband committed any crime, those holding him should allow the judicial processes to take its course instead of detaining him without trial for months, adding â€œconversely, if he is dead, the authorities should be bold enough to inform his family.â€
Speaking also, Uwazuruikeâ€™s lead counsel, lamented that the non-production of his client was because officials of Kuye Prison, Abuja, were demanding money from his client to buy flight tickets to enable them produce him in court.
He insisted that he was not satisfied with the proceedings in court, stressingÂ â€œit amounts to gross abuse of justice for an accused person to be detained for over three months without being produced in court despite all legal efforts.â€
It will be recalled that the prosecuting state counsel, had told the court that she duly applied for the production of the accused person from the prison authorities and the State Security Service, SSS, but wondered why he was not brought to the court.