Enugu State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Anthony
Ani, has dismissed as completely unfounded and untrue, the allegations
by the Chairman of the Nsukka Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association
(NBA), Professor Malachy Ukwueze that he intended to use his office to
interfere in the criminal trial of the chairmanship candidate of the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Saturday’s local government election
for Igbo Eze North council, Mr Bonaventure Onuh.
Professor Ukwueze had been quoted by a national daily as claiming that
Onuh was the Attorney General’s client when he (AG) was in private
practice and the he has now indicated his intention to stop Onuh’s
trial for an alleged attempt to kidnap the Branch Manager of Bank PHB
Mr Kevin Ezeja in 2009.
However in a statement issued yesterday, the Attorney- General
expressed shock and outrage at the allegation declaring that not only
was Mr Onuh never his client when he was in private practice but at no
time did he indicate any intention to stop the trial as alleged by the
Nsukka NBA Chairman.
He said, “Let me state very clearly that Mr Bonaventure Onuh was never
my client while I was in private practice and has no such relationship
with my law firm even now. I am not, and have never been interested in
any particular case as the Attorney General of Enugu State”.
Mr Ani said all he could recall about the case was that there was
petition by counsel to one of the accused persons in the case referred
to in the publication on the basis of which, he directed that the
information already filed be withdrawn and the case referred to the
police for further investigation.
He added that contrary to Professor Ikwueze’s claim, no Lawyer has up
till now, applied for or been granted fiat to prosecute the case
adding that he was surprised to read that one Mr Eli Ugwu has been
given fiat to prosecute the case.
While expressing reservation at the manner the Nsukka NBA Chairman
rushed to the press without checking his facts, the Attorney General
assured the public that the Enugu State Government has zero tolerance
for any form of criminal activities “and will stop at nothing” to
ensure that any person no matter how highly placed, involved in any
criminal activity, will be fully prosecuted through his office.
He also gave the jurors instructions that they were not to read the newspapers or listen to the radio or discuss the case with anyone.