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Customs agent released after 5years as brokers press for compensation

By Godfrey Bivbere & Cynthia Alo

Chairman of the Association Electoral Commission, ASECO, of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Onyimba Raymond Enekwechi, has been discharged and acquitted by a high court presiding in Enugu for lack of the prosecutor’s due diligence in the case.

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It would be recalled that one Mr N.A. Ekwu through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on May 5, 2014, arraigned Onyimba before the Chief Judge of Enugu State High Court, Justice I. A. Uwazulike, on a two-count charge of criminal diversion of the fund and obtaining money by false pretence.

However, Onyimba, who pleaded not guilty, was granted bail in the sum of one million Naira and one surety in like sum.

A letter signed by Mr Osita Mbonu on behalf of concerned Customs brokers described the case as a business deal that was turned into a political witch hunt to distract the accused.

He further stated that the issue had tarnished the image of the accused and, therefore, urged that he should be compensated for financial losses among others and to bring to justice those involved in tarnishing the image of the accused.

In his words, “The whole world should take notice that Barr. Raymond Onyimba Enekwechi has been finally discharged and acquitted by Justice N.N. Neboh on the12th of February 12,  2019, in the suit, E/166C/2014, never to rear its ugly face again.

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“For an innocent person like Enekwechi to be so viciously accused by political opponents and in the process, had to be forcefully detained for long days, with all the accompanying trauma, especially to his family, friends and business associates, for five long years, is very callous, to say the least.

“Clearly, Barr Onyimba has been up against certain political forces in Enugu state, which has the State coercive apparatus behind them, such that any attempt to enforce his fundamental human rights in court, they immediately and forcefully resist such moves.

This is because allowing such court processes to commence, might be opening up so many issues, politicians and bankers in collusion, and dating back to 2009.

“Worse still, after all these wrong allegations, no penalty was imposed on those who deliberately cooked up all the wrong allegations, just to attain selfish political ends, while decimating the souls and survival of fellow kinsmen.”

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