NUPENG General Secretary accuses members of ‘attempted murder’ during administrative assignment in Abuja 

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Secretary-General, Mr Afolabi Olawale has accused thirteen members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers(PTD) Branch of the union of nearly killing him when he was on an administrative assignment at the Abuja office of the union. 

Olawale made the allegation before the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting on Wednesday in an amended charge instituted by the Attorney-General of the Federation relating to an alleged attempted murder of the National President of NUPENG, Williams Akporeha, and two others. 

NUPENG is one of the industrial unions in Nigeria and one of the umbrella bodies for oil and gas workers. 

The case was filed in 2023 following the violence that erupted at NUPENG’s national headquarters in Abuja. 

AGF’s Case 

A former National Chairman of the PTD Branch of NUPENG, Lucky Osesua, and other leaders like Dayyabu Garga, Humble Obinna, Akinolu Olabisi, Godwin Nwaka, and Tiamiu Sikiru, were arraigned alongside others in 2023 in the suit marked CR/042/2023. 

They were accused of assault and attempted murder against the Union’s leadership thereby breaching the peace and smooth running of the union. 

“That you Lucky Osesua, Humble Obinna, Dayyabu Yusuf Garga, Akinolu Olabisi, Godwin, Tiamiu Sikiru, Abdulmumin Shaibu, John Amajuoyi, Zaira Aregbo, Patrick Erhivwor, Stephen Ogheneruemu, Gift Ukponku, and Sunday Ezeocha on November 1, 2023, within the jurisdiction of this court, with intent to cause a breach of peace, laid siege at the Petroleum Tanker Drivers office at No. 50 Moses Majekodenmi Crescent, Utako District against one  Williams Akporeha,  Olawale Afolabi,  Solomon Kilanko and  Augustine Egbon and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 114 of the Penal Code Act, 2004,” one of the counts read but the defendants denied the charges. 

The matter was eventually adjourned till today for trial. 

What transpired in court 

As they resumed sitting, Olawale entered the witness box to testify against the defendants. 

Led in evidence by David Kaswe, AGF’s counsel, the witness told the court that he was on his way to the Abuja office for “an administrative assignment” in November 2023, when the defendants and others besieged him and others. 

He maintained that the union members nearly killed him as he went unconscious during the assault. 

“I came to the office at No. 50 Mose Majekodumi Crescent Utako in Abuja, this office is the headquarters of our Petroleum Tanker Drivers branch of the union and also serves as the liaison office for our union in Abuja. 

“On this day, I came to that office in the company of the union president, Comrade William and two others in our official car. 

“As we approached the gate on this awful day, the driver of our car was horning for the security to open the gate; they refused to open. The security was now signaling to us from the pedestrian side of the gate. 

“The security attempted to open the pedestrian passage for us; suddenly I saw Lucky, Diaku and Obinna Humble(first to third defendant). They were waiting for us there at the passage. They rushed to the gate while Gaga was calling others to come. 

“I sustained serious injuries: I have a broken mouth, and I am still wearing braces up till now. I am still limping as my left leg is dislocated. When I read for two hours, I develop migraine,” the witness narrated while confirming his medical reports as part of his evidence. 

Under cross-examination by the defense team from Mike Ozekhome Chambers, the witness maintained that even though he “lost consciousness during the incident, I did not lose my memory.” 

The court subsequently admitted the witness’ statement on oath, and medical reports from the Nigerian Police Hospital and a private hospital, as exhibits. 

The matter was then adjourned to October 10, 2024, for continuation of trial. 

The accused stands innocent until proven guilty by the court. 


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