Court fines Ex-unionist N200,000
Posted: 23/Feb/2018

An Ogun State High Court in Ipokia Division has fined former labour leader Peter Asamba N200000 He has an option of a six-month jail Asamba was convicted on a two  count charge of conspiracy and assault against some staffers of the National Union of Chemical Footwear, Rubber and Non Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE).

He was a leader of the footwear, rubber and leather workers before the merger in 1996 and was at logger heads with NUCFRLANMPE, trying on several occasions to forcefully take over the secretariat of the union.

In 1999,  during the tenure of Lucas Damulak, Asamba was alleged to have attacked the union secretariat  in Sango-Ota, in Ogun State, leaving  the former General Secretary of the union,  AlhajI Taoreed Ibrahim, almost crippled.

On July 6, 2006, he was also said to have attacked the union, making the it to seek to redress at the court. The matter, which had been in court for 12 years, was finally laid to rest with Asamba’s conviction by Justice Muhammad Owodunni.

Joseph Odimba, who was accused along with Asamba, died during the trial, which began on a three-count charge of attempted murder, assault and conspiracy.

The judge, however, exonerated Asamba of attempted murder, noting that though it was established that he was carrying a gun, but with no intention to kill as he was reported to have shot into the air and wall and not directly at his victims.

Asamba was accused of going to NUCFRLANMPE secretariat with a bus full of hoodlums, armed with matchets and charms to attack security men led by Akanbi Adesina, who resisted their entry into the secretariat.

Asamba, according to the judge, claimed that he was at the secretariat to take over as the General Secretary of the union, having received an invitation from officials of the secretariat.

Justice Owodunni, however, found Asamba guilty on the other two charges of conspiracy and assault, upon which he and the other accused were sentenced to six months each, to run concurrently or pay a fine of N100,000 for each of the sentences.

Justice Owodunni also stated that Asamba, who had lost his job since 1991, had no business being at the NUCFRLANMPE secretariat. He could only be at the secretariat if he was in employment and a member of the union.

Reacting to the judgment,  Director, Legislative Drafting in Ogun State, Olusegun Olaotan, who was the lead counsel for the state, said it was a fair as the convict has been restricted from disturbing the union.

The Investigation Police Officer (IPO), Fatai Idris, who was in charge of the case, also commended the union for being steadfast in ensuring that the convict and his were brought to book.

The officer said the accused had ran away after committing the crime but were arrested nine months later when he wrote a petition to the Police alleging that one of them was missing.

The National President of NUCFRLANMPE, Goke Olatunji said the union was pleased with the judgement as  Asamba had caused a lot of problems for the union.

“It is a good judgment. We’ve been on this since 1996 and the most important thing now is that he has been barred from coming to our union and convicted for all his crimes,” he said.

By: Toba Agboola
The Nation News