Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola: A Case Of The Bush Meat Catching The Hunter

“Kindness is precious to a person, but to the world, it is justice that has higher spiritual value. In most cases, what people lack is not kindness but justice.”

On September 22, 2022, one Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola was arrested for assaulting her police orderly.

I remembered tweeting the picture of the assault, which later went viral.

I think the tweet brought the attention of the former Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, who strongly condemned the grievous assault of a female police officer, Inspector Teju Moses, by Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola and her domestic staff, comprising the housemaid, one Rebecca Enechido, and a male suspect currently at large.

The assault by Zainab Duke on her orderly was in the company of some accomplices on September 20, 2022, at her residence in Garki, Abuja, due to the refusal of the orderly to breach professional ethics by carrying out menial and domestic chores at her house.

I was in court to witness her prosecution after the directive of the former IGP, who directed the express prosecution of the arrested suspects, as the preliminary investigation showed overwhelming evidence of culpability on the part of the professor and her domestic staff.

I also recalled that the police clarified then that the suspect, Prof. Zainab, who name-drops the IGP, his family members, and other officers in the top hierarchy of the force, has no acquaintance with the police in any form, as erroneously peddled on social media.

On September 30, 2022, Prof. Zainab was denied bail by the presiding magistrate, and the matter was adjourned until October 5, 2022.

I was shocked to read in the dailies on Friday, January 19, 2024, that a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Gudu, Abuja, has ordered the inspector-general of police (IGP) to pay N50 million in damages to Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola, widow of the former philanthropist and winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late Chief MKO Abiola.

The court made the order following the violation of her fundamental human rights.

A so-called professor who violated the fundamental human rights of Inspector Teju Moses is now claiming a violation of her fundamental human rights. What a calamity!

This is a professor who has been involved in so many controversial cases to the extent that the members of the Abiola family have disowned the alleged policewoman-beater, Professor Zainab Duke, who is said to be their late patriarch’s widow.

No fewer than three of the children of the late winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election have expressed dissatisfaction with the woman’s link to the family, including by the media, following her alleged assault of a policewoman.

An investigation even showed that she allegedly claimed she had a copy of Abiola’s will that was signed in 1994.

The issue of the 1994 will of MKO Abiola came up in a London court after the businessman died; however, the family said it highlighted Zainab’s fraudulent and deceitful nature.

While many family members, including the scions of the family, were aware of the 1991 will, Zainab Duke took the family to court in London after Abiola’s demise and claimed that the earlier will was not the authentic one and that she had a will deposed to by Abiola in 1994. The said person recognised her as the wife of the late billionaire, while the earlier one didn’t.

After a series of forensic analyses that took about two years, the London court declared the will presented by Zainab as forged. She was subsequently ‘derobed’ by the English court, which meant she could no longer practice law in England. She also lost her job at Middlesex University in the UK, where she lectured law.

The Abiola family was even at a loss for how someone who was ‘derobed’ in the UK and lost her position as a lecturer came to be a professor in Nigeria.

I even recalled that on January 23, 2023, The Law Firm of Tawo E. Tawo, SAN & Co. issued a disclaimer to the widely circulated news item making the rounds in both the electronic and print media, particularly the said news captioned “Abiola’s widow drags IGP, others to court, seeks N100bn damages,” and purported that they filed the suit for and on behalf of one Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola.

In a disclaimer signed by Tawo E. Tawo, SAN, on Monday, January 23, 2023, he stated unequivocally that his firm did not file the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/2370/2022 or any suit at that per the subject matter.

“We also wish to state that we have commenced a full investigation to unravel those behind this embarrassing and dastardly act, the statement said.
“We will not fold our hands and watch mischief makers drag our name into a matter about which we have not been briefed by anyone, the statement concluded.

No wonder the Nigeria Police issued a statement saying that diligent investigations were conducted into the incident, resulting in the professor being charged in court.

Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said in a statement, “The Nigeria Police Force wishes to state emphatically that Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola, who was accused of complicity in the grievous assault of a female police officer, Inspector Teju Moses, on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, at her residence in Garki, Abuja, along with her domestic staff, including the housemaid, one Rebecca Enechido, and a male suspect currently at large, has a case to answer with respect to the allegations.

“The FCT Police Command, under whose jurisdiction the matter transpired, has charged the suspects to court upon diligent investigation, and the case with charge no. CR/544/22 is ongoing. The next hearing will be on February 1, 2023, at High Court 16, Zuba, FCT Abuja.

“The suspects have been charged with the offences of criminal conspiracy, attempt to commit culpable homicide, voluntarily causing hurt without provocation, and assault to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty, amongst others.

“The recent media row by the suspect is therefore unnecessary as the matter has not been concluded in court.

“It is similarly pertinent to note that the spurious allegations recently made in the news hold no water.

“The Nigeria Police reposes confidence in the judiciary, believing that the courts will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that justice is done in the extant case.

“The Police equally appreciate Nigerians and concerned individuals, groups, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), who have shown interest in the matter and severally called for justice for the grievously injured police inspector.”

When Teju presented her side of the story, the police inspector’s testimony was graphic, detailed, and captured on camera.

According to Teju, she said: “I am Inspector Teju Moses, attached to Professor Duke Zainab around Area 11. Yesterday, after I helped her take her things to the car, she told me to open the gate. But I told her that I could not open the gate because it was raining, and I was in uniform.

“She told me to go assist a staff to open the gate, but I repeated the fact that I was in uniform, and it was raining. She then asked why would I answer her that way, that it was a query, in her words. So, I kept quiet.”

In a sane country, someone like Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola should be in jail for forgery and attempted murder.

I am calling on the Nigeria Police to quickly appeal the Federal Capital Territory High Court judgement, Gudu, Abuja.

It is a case of “bushmeat arresting the hunter,” and this must be addressed urgently.

Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached at 08166240846. E-mail: [email protected]

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