Asaba: A judge of the Delta State High Court, Justice Onome Umukoro has been accused of being bribed by an alleged serial fraudster, Chief Fred Chijindu Ajudua, to pervert justice.

A press release issued by Dr Nwankwo Nwaezeigwe, the Odogwu of Igbuzor, accompanied by a recorded audio allegedly containing a conversation between Ajudua and Justice Onome Umukoro reads in part:


Gentlemen of the Press, let me once again begin by customarily dedicating this Press Statement to the late Mr. Emeka Onianwa of Umuehea Quarters—:
Who was half-murdered on April 11, 2015 right inside Fred Ajudua’s palatial sitting-room under his supervision and the affirmative watching eyes of his wife Mr. Pat Ajudua a. k. a Adankele, Honorable Member of Delta State House of Assembly, only to die two days later. This matter: “Charge/No/MIB/48C/2015” which remains one of the many visible sign-posts of corruption-driven travesty of Justice by Delta State Judiciary seems dead just as the victim is dead, courtesy of Mr. Fred Ajudua’s mastery in pocketing the Nigeria Police, Judges and Magistrates of Delta State.

In advancing the evidence as provided by the recorded audio telephone conversation between Fred Ajudua and Justice Onome Umukoro, the role/roles of each accomplice in the conspiracy will be outlined.

It is instructive to begin by noting that in the case: “Charge No. MIB/29c/2020: COP Versus Emmanuel Halim and two others before Chief Magistrate C. N. Ugeh of Ibusa Chief Magistrate Court 1, the Counsel to the accused Mr. I. C. Agbata had filed an Order for a Certiorari before His Lordship Honorable Justice M. O. Omovie (Mrs.) in Suit No. IBU/M/12/2020 on 18th day of February, 2020, with Emmanuel Halim as Applicant against Chief Magistrate C. N. Ugeh and the Assistant Chief Registrar in charge of Chief Magistrate Court, Ibusa, as Respondents requesting as follows:
“An Order by this Honorable Court granting leave to the Applicant to apply for an Order of Certiorari removing the records of the Court in Charge No. MIB/29c/2020 COP V. Emmanuel Halim and 2 Ors now pending at the Chief Magistrate Court 1, Ibusa presided over by the 1st Respondent for the purpose of quashing same.
An Order of this Honorable Court compelling the 2nd Respondent to produce the records of Court in this Charge No. MIB/29c/2020 to this Honorable Court for the purpose of quashing same.
An Order of this Honorable Court that the Order granting leave to the Applicant shall operate as a stay of any further proceedings, actions howsoever in this Charge No. MIB/29c/2020 pending the hearing and determination of this suit.”
In granting the Order, the Honorable Justice M. O. Omovie stated inter alia:
“The Court having heard I. C. Agbata Esq. Counsel to the Applicant ordered as follows: The application succeeds and it is hereby ordered as follows:
Leave is granted.
The Respondent is to produce the records of the Court in Charge No. MIB.29c/2020: COP V. Emmanuel Halim and 2 Ors to this Court.
The leave operates as a stay of proceedings in Charge No. MIB/29c/2020 pending before the 1st Respondent as the Chief Magistrate Court 1 Ibusa, pending the determination of the application for Certiorari.
The return date for the application is Monday, the 1st day of March, 2021.”
It was against this background that Mr. Fred Ajudua used his exerting position to compel Chief Magistrate C. N. Ugeh to disobey the above Court Order by Hon. Justice M. O. Omovie by instructing him and the Assistant Registrar not to transfer the case file to the High Court as ordered. Thereafter he invited Hon. Justice Onome Umukoro to his wife’s house at Legislative Quarters Asaba as shown by the telephone conversation where the final plan to subvert the Orders of Hon. Justice M. O. Omovie was finalized.

As planned, based on the acclaimed influence of Fred Ajudua on Delta State Judiciary, the Chief Judge of Delta State Hon. Justice Theresa Diai consequently sent the matter to Hon. Justice Onome Umukoro’s Court 5 Asaba where he criminally revoked the bails of Messrs Emmanuel Halim and Larry Onyezie and sent them indefinitely to Ogwashi-Uku Prisons, while clandestinely excluding the third accused person Engineer. Peter Okonkwo after compelling him through Mr. Fred Ajudua to pay a ransom of two million naira which had no bearing with the charges against him before the court.

The Chief Judge and Her Ethical Commission to Address Petitions before Him
In a petition dated the 19th day of July, 2021, titled:
“High Handedness, Bias, Abusive Conduct and Plot to Convict Chief (Evangelist) Michael I. Nwabuoku and Evangelist Emmanuel Chime, Willy- Nilly by Chief Magistrate C. N. Ugeh Esq.—Application to Transfer Charges No: MB/11C/2021-COP Vs Evangelist Emmanuel Chime; MB/48C/2021-COP Vs Stanley Oboh & Anor; and MB/65C/2021-COP Vs Chief Michael Nwabuoku” and jointly signed Chief (Evangelist) Michael I. Nwaubuoku and Evangelist Emmanuel Chime as Chairman and Secretary respectively of Umuodafe Village Union, the Chief Judge of Delta State His Lordship Hon. Justice Theresa Idiai was requested to use her office to not only effect the transfer of the cases to another Court which is in line with the Fundamental Rights of the petitioners, but equally to bring the Chief Magistrate Court 1 Ibusa His Worship C. N. Ugeh Esq to Justice in line with the extant provisions of relevant laws.
The petition states in part:
The above subject matter refers: We are writing to complain about the high handedness, bias and abusive conduct of Chief Magistrate in charge of the Chief Magistrate Court 1, Ibusa, which has made it impossible for our Counsel to effectively defend us in the aove mentioned charges. The activities of Chief Magistrate C. N. Ugeh Esq. which has become notorious in the entire Ibusa Town is that he is a willing tool in the hand of Chief Fred Ajudua, who has been using him to settle different scores with any of his perceived enemy in Ibusa, especially our Village, Umuodafe Quarter, Ibusa.
This petition was followed with an open letter published on the Daily Sun issue of October 23, 2021; yet the Hon. Chief Justice Theresa Diai has refused till date to grant justice to the applicants just because Mr. Fred Ajudua—an international fraudster facing multiple criminal charges over scams is involved.

Murder of Emeka Onianwa and the Embarrassing, Laughable and Spurious Delta State DPP Legal Advice that Declared Mr. Fred Ajudua and Mrs. Pat Ajudua Not Guilty
In the Legal Advice on the murder of Mr. Emeka Onianwa issued by Delta State Director of Public Prosecution dated July 8, 2015 with reference number DTMJ3/6/103199 and signed by one H. Oghoghomeh for the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), which was clandestinely and hurriedly prepared at the instance of Mr. Fred Ajudua, following the request of the Inspector General of Police, it was clear that the Judiciary in Delta State is infested with a chronic cankerworm of moral bankruptcy, morbid sense of professional judgment and institutionalized pathological corruption.
While paragraph 2 (a) of the Legal Advice which stated: “That none of the Victims or eyewitnesses mentioned the name of Hon. Innocent Ezenwenzie(sic) as one of those that beat or murdered the deceased” could be described as a case of obvious infantile jokiness, this is not the case with paragraph 2 ( b) which can be described as a clear case of judicial banditry.
Paragraph 2 (b) states inter alia:
“That Ayo Okonkwo (one of the Victims) in his Statement at Ibusa recorded within three days of the incident never stated that Hon. Mrs. Ajudua and Barr. Fred Ajudua were among the people that beat the deceased. Also the three Policemen that were present when the incident occurred—CPL Musa Abudujeh, Sgt. Iyene nkenla and CPL Mazi Christian stated in their respective Statements that Hon. Mrs. Ajudua and Barr. Fred Ajudua did not beat the deceased person. In the light of the above, this office is of the legal opinion that there is insufficient evidence to Prosecute Hon. Innocent Ezenwenzie (sic), Barr. Fred Ajudua, Hon. Barr. Princess Ajudua, Mordi Favour and Nwabueze Azikiwe. They should be released if in custody.”


In a counter-legal opinion on the murder of Mr. Emeka Onianwa titled: “Re-Legal Advice with Reference No. DTMJ3/6/103199 Dated 8th July 2015 From Ministry of Justice Delta State”, which was a frontal response to the Judicial banditry of the Delta State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) crafted more with a moral sense of value than professional sense of responsibility, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of FCIID stated with a bit sense of rage that: “The above legal advice was corruptly obtained for the purpose of setting free the persons who were involved in the murder of one Mr. Emeka Onianwa which ugly development took place in April 2015 at Ibusa, Delta State.”
Going further, he stated with an equal sense of fury: “Paragraph 2 (b) of the said Legal Advice stinks and perverse, as obstruction to the course of justice.” To substantiate his professional opinion, he quoted the verbatim the extract of one of the victims’ statement to the Police— Mr. Ayo Okonkwo, made on 4th May, 2015, which was the direct opposite of what the DPP Legal Advice stated.
According to Mr. Ayo Okonkwo:
“…late Emeka Onianwa came down and by so doing, the car doors opened and they gained assess [access] into the car and brought us out and started beating us with whatever they could lay their hands on, even the boot of their guns, they also used iron rods to beat us, later they took us in the boot of our own car having collected all our belongings including phones, they even pulled off our clothes, this time we were three of us namely (i) Myself Ayo (ii) late Emeka Onianwa (iii) Azuka and drove us straight to Fred Ajudua’s house. On getting there the beating continues. Even Fred Ajudua himself took an iron rod and were [was] beating us all over our body, just then Fred Ajudua’s wife came down and also collected an iron rod from one of the boys and started hitting us, they really concentrated on Emeka’s head, I didn’t know why, to the extent that one of Fred Ajudua’s sister started shouting that these boys must not die here in their house, even some of the Policemen attached to Fred Ajudua also complained and said they were taking the laws into their hands…. On the ninth day Hon. Pat Ajudua came to the hospital no one knows her intentions so I told the doctors that I do not think I am safe and that I wished to be discharged.”
In his concluding legal opinion, the Deputy Inspector General of Police stated:
“The Statement made by Mrs. Mary Ann Onianwa, (wife to late Emeka Onoanwa) to the Police at FCIID Abuja dated 30/04/2015 collaborated the facts stated in Ayo Okonkwo’s statement to the Police. Yet the Ministry of Justice Asaba, Delta State wrote a legal opinion stating that Barr. Fred Ajudua, [and] Hon. Mrs. Pat Ajudua were not among the people that beat up the deceased and as such there is no prima facie case against them thereby exonerating and shielding them from prosecution. From the facts of the case there is nothing stopping the STATE from prosecuting the killers of Mr. Emeka Onianwa. In concluding the legal opinion it was observed that there were discrepancies which the Police ought to re-investigate but the Police never carried out further re-investigation of this case only for the matter to be swept under the carpet till this day. The said legal opinion was a shameful one which can be re-visited and set aside for proper re-investigation to be carried out.”
The Governor and Chief Security Officer of Delta State Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa: over to you. The Hon. Chief Judge of Delta State Hon. Justice Theresa Diai: over to you. The Commissioner of Police, Delta State: over to you. The Chief Judge of the Federation and Chairman of National Judicial Council (NJC): over to you. The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation: over to you. And the vast majority of Nigerian citizens suffering under the yoke of injustice meted from above over to you.
Above all we the people of Delta State and Nigeria at large will like to hear from the Hon. Chief Judge of Delta State His Lordship the Hon. Justice Theresa Diai the present state of this petition. We want to believe from her account that she is neither a breeder of travesty of justice nor in the pay-roll of the serial fraudster Mr. Fred Ajudua like her subaltern officers. The people of Delta State in general and Aniomaland in particular have a historic integrity to protect and we are waiting for this to be reflected from Hon. Justice Theresa Diai’s response to the above states of judicial banditry under her watch. We are waiting and watching.

Nobody is above the law, and much as we are currently contending with Fulani banditry all over Nigeria, we will not allow judicial banditry to prevail in our country”

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