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Court sends ex-union President to six months imprisonment

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AN Ogun State  High Court sitting in Ota has sentenced former union president, Peter Asamba to six months imprisonment with option of N200,000 fine having found him guilty of a two-count charge of conspiracy and assault against some staff of the National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber and Non-Metallic Products Employees, NUCFRLANMPE.

Asamba who was brought before the court in 2010 was President of Footwear Rubber and Leather Workers before the merger to form NUCFRLANMPE. Asamba  was accused of attacking the secretariat of the union in Sango Ota leaving the former General Secretary,  Alhaji Taoreed Ibrahim almost crippled in 1999, during the leadership of Lucas Damulak.

However, the last attack against the union on July 6, 2006 had been a subject of litigation for the past 12 years before Justice Muhammad Owodunni, who gave judgment and convicted the accused recently. Joseph Odimba who was charged with Asamba as the second accused person died during the trial. They were accused of three count charges of attempted murder, assault and conspiracy. However, the judge freed the accused of attempted murder, saying though it was established that he was carrying gun, but it was with no intention to kill as he was reported to have shot in the air and wall and not directly at his victims.

In the  case, it was argued  that Asamba had gone to the NUCFRLANMPE secretariat in a bus full of hoodlums armed with machetes and charms and had descended on the securitymen led by Akanbi Adesina, who resisted their entry.

Asamba, according to the judge, claimed he was at the secretariat to take over as the General Secretary of the union having received an invitation from officials of the secretariat.

The judge, however, found him guilty on the other two charges of conspiracy and assault in which he and the other accused were sentenced to six months imprisonment each, to run concurrently or fine of N100,000 for each of the sentences.  Justice Owodunni in his judgment held that Asamba who has lost his job since 1991 has no business being at the NUCFRLANMPE secretariat as full employment was what conferred on him membership of the union.

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