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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, says himself , father and other family members were charged for murder but we’re rescued by Emmauel C. Ukala, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, to the legal profession in the country.
Wike also added that while he declared his intention to contest the office of the Chairman, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area in 1998, some callous politicians in his constituency ganged up and conspired with the police to frame him up for armed robbery.
Wike showered encomium on Ukala as his children, relatives and friends celebrated the legal luminary on his 65th birthday on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.
The governor, who was accompanied by his wife, Justice Eberechi Nyesom-Wike, stated that before he proceeded to then Rivers State University of Science and Technology, now Rivers State University, to study Law, Ukala had been his family’s lawyer.
According to him, Ukala not only intervened and secured his release, but also defended him from the tribunal up to the Supreme Court when some vested interest in the council desperately attempted to prevent him from being sworn into office as chairman.
“Throughout my chairmanship matter in 1998, when we had election down to April 4, 2000, when the Supreme Court finally decided my matter, he (Ukala) never took a dime, not one naira,” the governor stated.
Wike stated that when the Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal annulled the 2015 governorship poll, which he won convincingly, he contacted some lawyers to defend him and they demanded as much as N300m to N600m as their legal fee, but when he approached Ukala, whom he described as mentor, he was offered free legal services.
“Then my governorship election, most people may not believe it, from governorship tribunal down to the Supreme Court, he (Ukala) never collected one dime,” Wike stated
Wike recalled that while studying Law at the university, a chieftaincy dispute occurred in his community, which led to the arrest and detention of his father, uncle, brothers and himself on trumped up murder charge, adding that it took the intervention of Ukala as their lead counsel for them to be discharged and acquitted.
“There was a time that the entire family was charged for murder and every male was taken away. We only had women left in the house with children between the ages of one and five. As of that time, I was reading Law at then Rivers State University of Science and Technology, now Rivers State University,” he stated.
The governor disclosed that Ukala, in whose law firm he worked after leaving the Nigerian Law School, took his family’s ordeal very personal and did his best to ensure that they got justice.
The governor, who described Ukala as a refined and disciplined lawyer, applauded him for being a worthy mentor to him and his wife when they started their legal practice in Port Harcourt.
He showered encomiums on the children of the celebrant for deciding to honour their parents, Emmanuel and Dr Kate Ukala, in appreciation for the sacrifices they made in ensuring that they become responsible citizens.