Benjamin Madubugwu, One of Nigeria’s Richest Businessmen, Has Been Separated From His Co-Accused
Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been separated from his co-accused Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi upon resuming their trial for an amended six-count charge bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism by their counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor.
Early Life and Education
Madubugwu never lost sight of his academic pursuits despite becoming a successful entrepreneur, earning both West African Senior School Certificate (at age 48) and then Accounting degree at University of Nigeria Nsukka before receiving an honoris causa degree for Business Administration honoris causa from that institution.
Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi were granted bail of N10 million each and allowed out on bail conditions that include barring them from giving press interviews or attending any rallies or gatherings.
European Parliamentarians have called upon the EU to use its relationship with Nigeria to put pressure on its government to release Kanu and his co-defendants immediately from detention, which they argue amounts to an extreme violation of human rights.
Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Director of Radio Biafra has petitioned a Federal High Court in Abuja to dismiss treason charges filed against him and two pro-Biafra activists Chidiebere Onwudiwe and Benjamin Madubugwu.
Justice Tsoho denied an application from the federal government seeking to permit witnesses in its case against Nnamdi Kanu, Chidiebere Onwudiwe and Benjamin Madubugwu to testify behind closed doors. Justice Tsoho ruled that masking witnesses would obscure their demeanour during testimony which is integral to any trial proceeding.
Onwudiwe was accused of helping bring Radio Biafra transmitters into Nigeria illegally while Madubugwu is believed to have assisted with installing them in Anambra State. All three men were arrested in October 2015 on charges of running unlawful groups and remain imprisoned without bail since that time.
Achievement and Honors
In 2008, he received the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON). Additionally, Rotary International District 9140 awarded him with their Gold Service Award and Ebonyi State University awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Business Administration as well.
Nnamdi Kanu and three co-defendants for his pro-Biafra secessionist movement began their trial before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday in secret as requested by the government so as to protect witnesses’ identities.
Judge Nninnaya Abaribe and two others standing as sureties for Kanu must present him to court immediately and pay a fine of N300m if they fail. Kanu stands accused of calling for independence of Biafran territories illegally annexed by Nigeria during colonial rule.
IPOB, the pro-Biafra activist group representing Madubugwu, Chidiebere Onwudiwe and David Nwawuisi of IPOB is reporting that all three pro-Biafra agitators are experiencing serious health challenges that require intervention by both Transperancy International and President Donald Trump. IPOB has appealed to international support services as well as Donald Trump to come to their aid and intervene immediately.
Onwudiwe was arrested in October, while Nwawuisi and Madubugwu were brought before Justice Binta Nyako for trial on December 23. She denied their bail applications on the basis that their charges are grave.
The court ruled that defendants can only be released under conditions that prohibit media interviews or being in groups larger than 10 individuals at any one time. They also must deposit three sureties and produce land papers in Abuja before being sent home until June 20. The case has been adjourned.
No exact figure on his net worth can be determined since he does not publish details about his assets publicly, yet there can be little doubt that he is one of Nigeria’s wealthiest individuals. An accomplished businessperson and investor with several businesses under his control and investing in other firms.
He is also passionate about education. Through his foundation he offers scholarships to students and promotes learning. Additionally he participates in business seminars and conferences while mentoring young entrepreneurs.
The Federal High Court, Abuja has denied bail to Nnamdi Kanu and three pro-Biafra activists Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, and David Nwawusi who are facing serious charges that could potentially result in life imprisonment if proven. Justice Binta Nyako stated their charges are “serious in nature” and could result in life imprisonment should they be proven.