N10b Defamation Suit: Ugwuonye Considers Exile
By Destiny Ugorji
Contrary to reports of his plans to appeal to the Supreme Court against his disbarment by the Nigerian Bar Association, there are strong indications that controversial founder of a Facebook group, The Due Process Advocates, Emeka Ugwuonye may be contemplating going on exile.
This is as pressure mounts over the myriads of cases before him, particularly, the N10b defamation suit slammed on him by ex-husband of Abuja missing woman, Charity Aiyedogbon, Mr. David Aiyedogbon.
Impeccable sources from Ugwuonye’s Facebook group, The Due Process Advocates (DPA) who spoke on the grounds of anonymity confirmed this to our correspondent Tuesday.
According to one of the sources, “Ugwuonye has concluded plans to leave the country. There are too many cases; problems everywhere. Court cases are too many and threats of new cases coming daily. Now that he has been disbarred, he will have to hire lawyers to defend him and the money is not even there. He is seriously considering running out of the country, to save his head.”
When asked where the DPA founder plans to elope to, he said: “he is considering one of the African countries. Ghana is top in his chart.”
Meanwhile, Ugwuonye announced his plans to travel to the United States on his Facebook group, The DPA a few days ago.
In what appears like a perfection of his planned move, in a post on the 27th of May, 2017, titled: “introduction of Mrs. DPA Rambo and update on DPA administration,” Ugwuonye tactfully transferred managerial functions of the DPA to a new Facebook account, DPA Rambo.
“Yesterday night, Mrs. DPA Rambo joined the DPA group and we were glad to receive her. She is quite a character. She is an agent for special purposes in this group. Her work is to post all public announcements and management messages for DPA. Mrs. DPA Rambo will sit in all DPA meetings and meetings of DPA Admin. She is the person that will post the announcement of the meetings to our members. I urge all of you to pay close attention to this lady.”
“If I may still inform you, Mrs. DPA Rambo is going to make several critical announcements this weekend. For instance, the ID Cards of members will be ready next week and arrangements are being made for members to create personal profile and upload their accounts with a picture that they want to appear in their ID cards. But this is only for fully registered members.”
“…..She is to relieve me from having to make management announcements and notices from my personal account. Also, members who have information to send to DPA management must direct their messages to Mrs. DPA Rambo. Please, don’t try to send friendship requests to Mrs. Rambo. She does not accept friendship requests. However, she will receive your messages and will respond in due course.”
An interrogation of the Facebook name, DPA Rambo suggests that it is an account that may have been created by Mr. Ugwuonye himself to divert attention from his personal account, which, sources say he has used to cause irreparable damage to both himself and some members of the public.
In another development, on the 29th of May, 2016, Ugwuonye alleged an attempt at hacking his Facebook account.
“Early this morning, approximately 1:00am, this Facebook account came under a massive and sustained attack by some enemies of DPA. Facebook organization alerted me and I engaged standard security measures all in place to protect the confidences of people in contact with me and the integrity of DPA operations and planning. That led to the temporal disabling of this account.”
Checks reveal that in 2016, in an alleged botched attempt to destroy evidence in his case against David Aiyedogbon, Ugwuonye allegedly pulled down the same account, but restored same following media attacks and exposure.
It would be recalled that, for falsely accusing him of having a hand in the sudden disappearance of his estranged wife, Charity Aiyedogbon, Mr. Aiyedogbon instituted a defamation of character suit of Ten Billion Naira (N10b) against Lagos Lawyer, Emeka Ephraim Ugwuonye.
The Suit, with number CV/2750/16, between David Aiyedogbon (Plaintiff) and Emeka Ugwuonye (Defendant) on defamation of character, before Justice Peter Kekemeke of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 14, Apo Abuja; also prays that the defendant be ordered to pay the cost of the suit.
The Plaintiff is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction “restraining the Defendant, his Agents, Privies, Associates or whosoever called” from making further defamatory publications against him and his family members.
So far, Ugwuonye has raised two objections in the matter, first, challenging the Court’s jurisdiction and another, urging the court to reverse itself on its earlier ruling on jurisdiction. He lost in the both instances, with costs awarded against him.
The matter is adjourned to September, 2017, for hearing of the substantive suit, where he will be required to produce evidence to substantiate his claims.
Reliable sources reveal that Mr. Aiyedogbon’s lawyer, Tony Ogbulafor may have also filed a personal suit against Mr. Ugwuonye for wrongly accusing him of giving a bribe (in an envelope) to a Police man to detain him.
Police sources also reveal that, while some persons have already been charged to Court (awaiting trial) for their roles in the disappearance of Charity Aiyedogbon, others that have questions to answer will also be charged soon, to explain their roles in the controversy. Ugwuonye may be among those to be prosecuted.
Just last week, Ugwuonye, a former United States-based Nigerian lawyer, who was disbarred in New York and Maryland for professional misconduct was also disbarred in Nigeria for fraud.