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Nigerian Court Grants Bail To Professor Zainab Duke-Abiola, Worker Accused Of Assaulting Policewoman After 12 Days In Prison

Nigerian Court Grants Bail To Professor Zainab Duke-Abiola, Worker Accused Of Assaulting Policewoman After 12 Days In Prison
October 5, 2022

The court also considered Section 277 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

A Magistrate Court sitting in Wuse Zone Six, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has granted bail to Prof. Zainab Duke-Abiola and her domestic worker, Rebecca Enechido.

Both of them were arrested and remanded for allegedly assaulting and brutalising a policewoman, identified as Teju Moses.

Magistrate Elizabeth Wonu granted the accused persons bail after listening to the arguments of the prosecution and defence lawyers.

SaharaReporters had reported that Zainab, who was at a time married to Chief MKO Abiola, and Rebecca were remanded at the Suleja Correctional Centre for allegedly assaulting a female police officer. 

The presiding magistrate stated that the court considered the terms of Section 229 of the Penal Code law, which is culpable homicide attempt, which is applicable in Northern Nigeria and is employed in criminal proceedings.

According to Wonu, the court also considered Section 277 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

She stated that the court has jurisdiction to hear the case of culpable homicide and also issue bail.

The court subsequently granted the duo bail after spending 12 days in prison custody.

However, the court ordered the accused persons to submit two sureties with definite addresses within its jurisdiction.

A video clip showing the female officer in uniform bleeding while she was seated on the floor had gone viral.

Meanwhile, members of the Abiola family have disowned the alleged policewoman-beater, Zainab, said to be their late patriarch’s widow.

Zainab was married to Chief Moshood Abiola, popularly known as MKO Abiola, the late hero of June 12.

However, no fewer than three of the children of the late winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election expressed dissatisfaction with the manner by which Zainab was linked to the family, including by the media, following her alleged assault of a policewoman.

One of Abiola’s children told Abuja Reporters that Zainab Duke was married to MKO Abiola in 1983 and based on this, the late businessman sponsored her at the University of Sokoto where she read English.

One of the sources said because of Abiola’s closeness to the late Sultan of Sokoto, she stayed in the palace all through her years in Sokoto and after her degree, she left the place. Zainab was said to have graduated in 1986.

“The family was taken aback when she wedded (Alfred) Diete-Spiff in 1989. Her wedding to the former military Governor who is now a traditional ruler in Rivers State was well publicised in society magazines such as then Classique magazine which has now been rested. It was a society wedding,” one of the Abiola family sources had said.

According to the children, she later returned after MKO Abiola died to claim that she reconciled with the late businessman and indeed had a child with him in 1994.

She also allegedly claimed she had a copy of the man’s will that was signed in 1994.

The issue of the 1994 will of MKO Abiola came up in a London court after the businessman died; however, the family said it highlighted Zainab’s fraudulent and deceitful nature.

“While many family members including the scions of the family were aware of the 1991 will, Zainab Duke, took the family to court in London after Abiola’s demise and claimed that the earlier will was not the authentic one and that she had a will deposed to by Abiola in 1994. The said will recognised her as a wife of the late billionaire while the earlier one didn’t.

“After a series of forensic analyses which took about two years, the London court declared the will presented by Zainab as forged. She was subsequently ‘derobed’ by the English court which meant she could no longer practice law in England. She also lost her job at Middlesex University in the UK where she lectured Law.

“The Abiola family is however at a loss how someone who was 'derobed' in the UK and lost her position as a lecturer came to be a Professor in Nigeria,” the family said.