A Benin-based Civic advocacy group leader, group, Mr. Curtis Ugbo was on Tuesday arrested and thrown into the Nigeria police custody at Zone 5 by police operatives in Benin City over allegation of using his mandate — Benin Solidarity Movement, BSM to promote a ‘vile content against a popular notary public, Mr. Olayiwola Afolabi on social media network.
Ugbo was reported to have openly criticised the human rights lawyer and accused him of collecting N10m from Prince Johnson Atseleghe to pervert the cause of justice, a development that emboldened Afolabi to petition the police to investigate the allegation.
Recall that Atseleghe, a traditional title holder at the palace of Olu.of Warri, Delta State, is standing trial in allege murder charged to court along with nine other Respondents in connection with the allege murder of the youth leader of Koloko youth Leader in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, Mr. Sunny Etchie who was killed and his dumped in Ologbo river by his abductors over a year ago.
Afolabi also threatened to jail the Ugbo, the President of Benin Solidarity Movement and his cohort for sponsoring a libelous content against him on Facebook, months ago.
The lawyer alleged that , “Ugbo went to write on Facebook and other social media that I collected N10m from Prince Johnson, I didn’t collect any money from Prince Johnson. Himself and one girl that is his secretary went to write on their Facebook.
“Both of them would be charged to court tomorrow. Investigation has already been completed, so, tomorrow they would be charged. I have the charge sheet with me. But they have been begging”, he said.
On the other hand, the Curtis Ugbo said Afolabi was being economical with the truth on allegation of professional misconduct when he engaged him to defend victims of murder of in Ologbo.
The youth leader, had traced the crisis of confidence between him and the petitioner for his alleged refusal to pay him his professional fee for allege breach of trust.
A dependable source said Ugbo began to loose confidence in the petitioner whose law firm is located in Yoruba street, near Iyaro in Oredo Local Government Area of the State when he secretly entered into an agreement with the defendant while he was yet to terminate the earlier agreement to defend the plaintiff in a murder case before the Edo State High court sitting in Benin City.
The source also revealed that the lawyer suddenly shifted his allegiance to one of the defendants who a traditional title holder at the Olu of Warri palace in Delta State, but lives in Ologbo Community.
The alleged secret deal of the lawyer came to limelight after the court remanded the said defendant, the lawyer secretly went to visit the at the Nigeria Correctional Service in Benin apparently to secure a soft landing for him, which the plaintiff in the case considered as unethical conduct, according to the source.
Angered by the alleged misconduct Ugbo thereafter dragged him before the national leadership of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA for investigation.
Yet, Afolabi who denied the allegations vehemently, is yet to give up on the raging tussle over the non-payment of his outstanding professional fee and other issues that bother on the reputation that he had built over 30 years ago in the legal profession.
In the light of the above, the lawyer petitioned Ugbo to the AIG, which led to the arrest of Ugbo who is due to appear in court soon.
A family source however assured that plans are ongoing to secure his bail after police interrogation.
A social media user who also confined Curtis Ugbo’s arrest and and detention at AIG Zone 5, blamed the development on his involvement in the Ologbo Communal crisis.
“His accomplices are currently on the run. He is to be charged to court tomorrow for breach of peace and order related offences against the State”, the author said.
Efforts to reach the Zone 5 Public Public Relations Officer, ZPPRO, DSP Tijani Momoh, for comments were unsuccessful.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Curtis Ugbo in the midst of some Benin village elders briefing the Press months ago in Benin City, is used to illustrate this report.