Joe Fortemose Chinakwe, the 30-year old trader, who named his pet dog Buhari and was arraigned for conduct likely to cause breach of peace, has finally regained freedom, four days after he was remanded in Ibara Prisons in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The embattled trader, a father of two and a native of Delta State, was arraigned on Monday before an Ota Magistrate’s Court, Ogun State, on a two-count charge and was subsequently granted bail in the sum of N50,000 with two sureties, who must be regular tax payers in the state, in like sum.
Iroko, as he is fondly called, while speaking with newsmen shortly after he left the prison ward in Abeokuta, described his experience as good and educative.
“I am so happy to have left the prison yard. It is a joy to me. I have missed my family; that was most painful.
“Prison is a place to experience in one’s life. It is like a rehabilitation home where you learn many things and there are many people you may not have the opportunity to talk to. But you will sit down and discuss with them in prison.
“There are many things you take for granted, but when you go to prison, you know there is law.
“The only thing I am regretting about my coming to prison is the intimidation from the Hausa community. Going to prison is a golden moment for me.”
Explaining why he named his dog Buhari, he said: “As a matter of fact, they misunderstood me. I have three dogs: one bears Obama, one bears Joe, an abbreviation of my name. The third is named Buhari.
“I named these dogs after my role models. My late dog was named after Nelson Mandela. I don’t just give any name to my dogs. I give reputable names to my dogs. It is the love I have for Buhari; he is my role model.
“Buhari is not the President of the North. He is the President of Nigeria. I see no reason why Northerners should intimidate me: Nigeria is one. Therefore I see no reason why they will be intimidating me. It is my right to name my dog any name.
“Thank God, I have regained my freedom. The most painful thing is the way they treated my dog. I am not happy that they killed my dog while I was in detention. It is my dog, it is my pet. I love my dogs. They have no right to kill my dog.
“Nigerians should know that there are other dogs in other areas that bear Jack as name. Why is Buhari so special? It is a name that has been existing for several years.”
Matters took a funny twist when Iroko was stranded after he was released, as he did not have transport fare to go to his Sango residence.
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in his tweet, said the President must be having a good laugh over the dog saga.
“People should listen to the real story behind this dog incident and not waste precious time seeking the hand of the President in a laughable incident!
“President Buhari must be having a good laugh over this whole thing, as it is cheap and sensational to say he can order a police action against a caricature.”
He further tweeted that anybody linking Buhari to the dog incident is displaying ignorance.