Friday, 5 July 2013

DELSU Rape Saga: NGO drags alleged victim’s counsel before NBA for prosecution

By Brisibe Perez
In what it termed as “unscrupulous practice” of the counsel to the alleged victim of rape (name withheld) in the DELSU rape saga, Mr. Anuku Oghene-Menshach and the CEO/Funder of Delta Women Non-Governmental Organisation, Ms. Elsie Ijorugu-Reed, Delta Women have dragged Mr. Anuku before the Nigeria Bar Association for prosecution.
In a letter dated July 3rd, 2013 signed by Kirthi Jayakumar, Legal Head, Delta Woman and made available to Naija Gossips, it reads in parts, “We wish to report these malpractices to you for your attention and involvement in bringing an unscrupulous lawyer to book.
“First, it is important to know that the Lawyer, Mr. Anuku Oghene-Menshack is related to the girl whom he is representing: who was the victim of the aforementioned sexual harassment. We gathered that he is also a lecturer. These facts show an inherent conflict of interest that his position puts him in, and we are firmly steeped in our understanding of natural justice. By the rule of nemo iudex in sua causa, he is not allowed to judge his own cause, nor one with which he is connected.
“When our organization reached out to Mr. Anuku Oghene-Menshach in an attempt to secure information on the case and to encourage him to bring out the truth, he entered into a verbal confrontation with our founder, Ms. Elsie Ijorogu Reed. He even threatened the journalist who sought to speak with him.
“All these were because we were demanding what is right in this matter. This behavior is unbecoming to say the least, and abusive in complete disregard of dignity. We implore you to investigate the matter and take the lawyer to task to task for his detraction from professional ethics,” the statement added.
Others copied in the petition are the Warri Branch Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Ben Oji Esq, Ughelli Branch Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, A. E Icheghe Esq and the Asaba Branch Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Oseyenim Chukwuma Esq.
It would be recalled that the report of alleged rape in the Delta State University, Abraka between one Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwu Raphael of the Department of Department of Theater Arts and a 400 level female student of the same department took a different dimension following a purported civil settlement by parties involved in the case, a scenario that didn’t go down well with Delta Women who had earlier vow to see to the end of the matter.
As a result of this disagreement, Mr. Anuku and Ms. Reed where both involved in a heated war of words with both parties threatening to settle their grievances at the law court.

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