Cal State Professor Running for Office in Nigeria Arrested

  • May 24, 2011

A professor at Cal State East Bay was released from prison Tuesday after being arrested in his native Nigeria where he had returned to run for a governorship.

Steven Ugbah's wife Stevina Evuleocha said her husband called Monday night saying he'd been arrested by police in Nigeria.Ugbah -- a professor of Marketing at Cal State East Bay -- had gone on leave in December to campaign in his homeland for the governorship of Benue State.

Evuleocha, also a Cal State professor, said she and her family were worried because the arrest comes after a string of attacks.

"Throughout the campaign there were all kinds of things including being on a hit list," said EvuleochaUgbah lost the race despite having a 76 percent to 19 percent lead in the polls going into the April election.

Evuleocha said he filed a fraud complaint with the election tribunal.On May 13th, Ugbah's convoy was ambushed by gunmen. A childhood friend of his was killed in the attack.

Supporters believe it was assassination attempt meant for Ugbah who was riding in a similar car."In essence that's what the guy did is take the bullets for him," said Evuleocha.Ugbah's cousin David Unongo said the Cal State professor felt passionate about going back to Nigeria to try and end malaria and AIDS while improving health care and education.

"That is why Steven gave this beautiful Bay Area up. To go and deal with that," said Unongo.Ugbah's family hopes people will encourage Senator Boxer, Senator Feinstein and other officials to put pressure on Nigeria to end the violence against Professor Ugbah.

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