A non-governmental organisation, Women for Women (WFW), has petitioned the Enugu state Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Abdurraham demanding the prosecution of former State Chairperson of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs Chieso Aninwagwa for alleged misappropriation of N5 million.
Petitioning the Police through its lawyer, Chukwunonso Daniel Ogbe, on March 27, 2020, titled: “Request to prosecute a suspect in court,” WFW alleged that Aninwagwa who was its chairperson in Enugu state, was trying to truncate the investigation by New Haven Police Divisional office, which had allegedly indicted her.
According to the petition, the WFW wants Aninwagwa to be prosecuted in court, though she “has further embarked on steps, aimed towards subverting the course of justice and drawing the attention of your officers and men away from the illegality which she perpetrated while she held sway as the chairperson of the organisation.”
The petition further alleged that Aninwagwa who left office as chairperson of NAWOJ, Enugu State chapter in 2014, still operated the association’s account with one Ngozi Otahumele discreetly.
The lawyer stated that the Secretary General of WFW, Ochiora Amaka Okonkwo had briefed him that “the erstwhile Chairperson of our Client, being Mrs Chieso Aninwagwa, misappropriated the sum of N5,000,000 belonging to WFW without just cause.
“Our Client had earlier lodged a formal complaint against Mrs Chieso Aninwagwa with the New Haven Police Station and the matter thoroughly investigated and concluded by the New Heaven Police Station in a professional manner.
“Our Client reasonably believes that Mrs Chieso Aninwagwa admitted having misappropriated the sum of N5,000,000.00, belonging to our Client in the course of the criminal complaint being entertained and investigated by the New Haven Police Station.
“Surprisingly, as our client awaited the matter to be taken to Court for Mrs Chieso Aninwagwa to be prosecuted for her obvious nefarious deed, our Client discovered that Mrs Chieso has further embarked on steps, aimed towards subverting the course of justice and drawing the attention of your officers and men away from the illegality which she perpetrated as afore-described.
“The assertion made in this regard is hinged on the fact that our Client reasonably believes that Mrs Chieso Aninwagwa is working hand in glove with some highly connected personalities in the country, in order not to be arraigned in Court to face trial; by making moves to present a fresh petition bordering on the misappropriated funds of our Client to the higher echelon of the Nigerian Police Force over the matter that has already been investigated in its entirety by the New Haven Police Station.
“Accordingly, we most respectfully urge you to direct your officers and men at the New Haven Police Station who investigated the criminal allegation that was brought against Mrs Chieso Aninwagwa, to charge Mrs Chieso Aninwagwa to Court to face criminal trial, based on the investigation which the New Haven Police Station had earlier carried out and concluded over the matter.
“The modest demand of our Client in this regard is hinged on the fact that Mrs Chieso Aninwagwa is determined to retract from the admission of the commission of the criminal allegation leveled against her, which admission we reasonably believe she made in the course of her being investigated at New Haven Police Station,” the petition read.
In her response to Newsdiaryonline, Aninwagwa Chieso said the petition was frivolous and based on total falsehood, adding that she raised N5 million to hold an event in September 2018.
“I singlehandedly struggled in three months of the formation of the association and attracted the sum of N5 million to hold a program on 1st Sept 2018 at Okpara Square, Enugu.
“At a meeting I announced the amount I got and it was Mrs Amaka and her friend, Mrs Ejeagbasi, were the people that disbursed the money for the program.
“She even blamed me earlier that I was not supposed to tell people how much I got but I said I want to be plain.
“She then claimed that I am owning her some money but when I got the statement of bank transfer, she kept quiet and denied the cash she collected from me.
“If I wanted to embezzle money, why did I have to disclose to everyone how much I got and even tried and open account, three days to the program?”