By Akpos Oghenetega,
The Chief Joe Omene led Urhobo Progress Union, UPU has commended members of the Ghana branch of the UPU, National Federation of Women Lawyers, Bayelsa branch, Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State, Mr Nkeruem Akpan, Chief Albert Akpomudje, SAN for the role they played in ensuring that justice was served over the case of the abduction of an Urhobo teenage girl, Ese Oruru, in Bayelsa State five years ago.
The leadership also commended the former Commissioner of Police, Mr Friday Ugunyewu, IPO Mr Nwosu, UPU Bayelsa State branch and several others for the role they played, nothing that with their supports Ese Oruru would have dined justice.
Recall that Ese Oruru who was then 13, was abducted from her parents’ home, by one Dahiru Yunusa and taken to a prominent traditional ruler in the North in 2015, and was raped and impregnated by the traditional ruler and kept away from the family.
Though the father of the teenager, Mr Charles Oruru, later found out the whereabouts of his daughter, it was not possible to secure her release from the traditional ruler’s grips because of his strong influence.
President-General of UPU, Chief Joe Omene, led a delegation of the executive to Yenagoa where they held a meeting with the then Commissioner of Police, Mr Friday Ugunyewu, the move speeded up investigation and efforts in freeing the abducted teenager.
The UPU also met with the chairperson of the National Federation of Women Lawyers, Bayelsa branch, Mrs Pamus Odeme after the release of the victim, Ese and with the support of the body was involved in the struggle to set her free.
In order to draw international attention, the UPU, Ghana branch staged a protest match to the Nigerian Embassy in Accra calling on the Federal Government to intervene for the release Ese.
Few days after the prominent Emir released her from his palace where she was kept following the pressure mounted by the UPU, the Nigeria Police and other interested parties, with a seven months pregnancy.
The case was investigated by the Bayelsa State Police Command and charged to a Federal High Court in Yenagoa, and after years the court in its recent judgment sentenced the culprit to a jail term of 26 years in prison.
Reacting to the judgment, the UPU President-General commended the court for bringing the culprit, Dahiru Yunusa, to justice, adding that although it took a pretty long time, the Urhobos are happy that finally, he was jailed for his crime.
He said: “When we discovered that Ese’s father was finding it difficult to get her daughter released by the prominent traditional ruler in the North, I, as the UPU President-General led a delegation to Yenagoa where we met with then Commissioner of Police, Mr Friday Ugunweyu and the executives of the National Federation of Women Lawyers led by Mrs Pamus Odeme in the state, to ensure that Ese was released and the culprit tried and brought to justice.
“To our surprise, the culprit, Yunusa, who was a mere Okada rider in Yenagoa, engaged the services of a lawyer who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria to defend him.
“To match him, we had to engage the services of Chief Albert Akpomudje, SAN, who graciously offered his services free of charge to handle the matter.
“The UPU Ghana branch also got involved and they even went as far as staging a protest in the Nigerian embassy in Accra.
“At a point, the lives of the parents of the victim were being threatened in Yenagoa and we had to advise them to relocate them to Delta State.
“The entire Urhobo is happy today that justice was at last delivered with the sentencing of Yunusa to 26 years in jail.”
The UPU President-General, on behalf of the Urhobo nation, hereby expresses gratitude to all those who contributed in no small measure to ensure justice was at last delivered.
“Our sincere thanks go to the National Federation of Women Lawyers led by Mrs Odeme for their role in the matter.
“We also thank immensely, the then Commissioner of Police, Mr Friday Ogumeho, the present Commissioner of Police of the Bayelsa Police Command, Mr Nkeruem Akpan and the Investigation Police Officer, Mr Nwosu for their cooperation.
“Our gratitude also goes to the UPU Women wings that were always present in court during the trial.
“We are eternally grateful to a legal luminary and an Urhobo Patriot, Chief Albert Akpomudje, SAN, who not only graciously offered free service but did it with all his might to ensure that justice was served at last.”
Chief Omene, “on behalf of the entire Urhobo, express gratitude to the UPU Ghana branch for their contribution towards the successful release of Ese, prosection and sentence of the culprit.”