Wonne Afronelly Seeks Justice Over Alleged Program Hijack by Rivers Government


Environmental advocate and convener of MyEnvironment, MyWealth, Wonne Afronelly, has demanded justice over the alleged hijacking of her 2018 World Wildlife Day program by the Rivers State Government.

Original Banner by Brand Manager MyEnvironment MyWealth
Original Banner by Brand Manager MyEnvironment MyWealth

She stated that her team originally conceptualized the program in line with the theme for United Nations World Wildlife Day 2018—"Big Cats: Predators under Threat," but the government reportedly took it over without proper acknowledgment or consent.

Wonne made this known while speaking to newsmen during a recent court hearing. She stated that Bar. Godsent Elenwa, her legal counsel, presented compelling evidence to establish that her team had conceptualized the program. She reiterated that efforts to seek redress through letters to the governor's office and the commissioner for culture and tourism had been made prior to the court case in 2022, but no response was received.

Flyer created for Commissioner fof Tourism
Flyer created for Commissioner fof Tourism

Wonne expressed disappointment over the government's actions, stating, “I feel very sad seeing that all my efforts at augmenting the government's efforts are being taken for granted. Between 2016 and 2022, I worked for the Rivers state government’s two radio stations, Radio Rivers 99.1 FM and Garden City Radio 89.9 FM, without pay. I do not see why directors and commissioners who are gainfully employed with bogo salaries would still want to steal from me."

Wonne Afronelly posing with counsel Dec 04, 2023 after my Cross examination Part 1
Posing with counsel Dec 04, 2023 after Examination in Chief Part 1

The Allied Peoples Movement (APM) 2023 candidate for the Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency conveyed cautious optimism about the outcome of the case, noting concerns about Nigeria's judicial system. She demanded that the Rivers State government justify its actions concerning her intellectual property.

“I am not very expectant seeing how the country Nigeria is panning out in terms of judicial proceedings. My satisfaction is in the fact that I have challenged the government of Rivers State to prove herself worthy of hijacking my intellectual property and going scot-free."

Modified graphics by Zoo Manager of Rivers State Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Modified graphics by Zoo Manager of Rivers State Ministry of Culture and Tourism

However, despite potential challenges, Wonne is confident that the case will set a precedent for protecting others from similar government infractions.

Wonne Afronelly demands Justice

“I am pretty confident that the final judgment, no matter how many lacunae the judge may explore, would be a great reference point in the future to save other unsuspecting victims from government intimidation. Dum Spiro, Spero, while I breathe, I hope.”

The next court hearing is set to commence in February 2024, with cross-examination from the Rivers State government's legal team.

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