Local Prof., Nigeria Candidate, Out of African Jail

A Dublin man who teaches at a Hayward college has been released from prison in Nigeria, where he unsuccessfully ran for governor.

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, May 25, 2011  |  Updated 4:31 PM PDT
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Dublin man who teaches at a Hayward college has been released from prison in Nigeria, where he unsuccessfully ran for governor.

Dublin man who teaches at a Hayward college has been released from prison in Nigeria, where he unsuccessfully ran for governor.

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What did you do on your summer vacation? Thus far, Dublin resident Steve Ugbah, who teaches at California State University, East Bay, has run for governor in his native Nigeria, been arrested by police, possibly on order of another candidate, and been released, to much fanfare.

Makes your visit to the Russian River feel so... boring, doesn't it?

Ugbah, a professor of marketing at the Hayward-based college since 1986, shocked colleagues when he informed them he planned to run for governor of his native state of Benue in the east African nation. He was jailed following his loss in the April election when he accused one of his opponents of trying to assassinate him. And with good reason -- one of his aides was killed May 13 by parties unknown.

Police threw him in jail Monday a week before his opponent's planned inauguration, citing Ugbah's "inciting public disturbances" for alleging that the election was rigged and that people were out to kill him.

He was released Tuesday, according to local sources, and escorted out of jail by a 20-vehicle police convoy and 120 armed cops, who had to fire tear gas to disperse crowds of supporters singing songs and burning celebratory bonfires.

Ugbah had returned to Nigeria to work in politics prior to this latest effort -- in 1983, his younger brother was killed when the pair were working on a political campaign.

Despite that checkered past and the most recent incidents, Ugbah plans to stay in the country and contest the election, in which he alleges ballot boxes were stolen or trucked away, and that voter turnout was greatly inflated in some regions.

Sound familiar?

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