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April 20, 202012min4330
Like Ayade, another PDP Gov sends lawyer to jail without bail


Pius Ogbu, Abia, Joe Essien, Calabar & Monica Scott, South Africa
There appears to be no difference between the ruling party and the leading opposition party in Nigeria as a number of critics which include journalists are being incarcerated on trump up charges.
While many are languishing in jail, some others can not be traced and have not been seen for months since their sudden arrest and disappearance.
The latest to send a critic, a lawyer whose wife is heavily pregnant and about to deliver is Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu.
Abia State in the past five years has seen a sharp drop in fortune with refuse heaps taking over the state while insecurity, broken infrastructure have worsen, leading critics to voice out their displeasure to the kind of leadership being provided in the state.
And many critics linked the deplorable situation in the state to the agreement entered into by the current Governor and his predecessor, Theodore Orji now a senator.
The agreement which has been shared widely online was referenced in a post by Gabriel Ogbonna on his Facebook wall with the name Emperor Gabriel Ogbonna.
According to the post which many have ascribed to being the reason for his arrest, Mr Ogbonna posted, “Since yesterday, a document has been circulating online . I even saw the document on a news forum.
The document purports to be a document signed by an Igbo governor wherein he undertook to surrender his state to his sponsor, a former governor of the state, and his son.
“The document was signed by the current governor. He took an oath that the spirits they worship should deal with him if he fails in his undertaking.
“The document was said to have been gotten from the home of the former governor and his son when the home of the former governor was raided.
This is serious. If that oath is real, then I am speechless.
“The quest for power. People serving the devil because of power. The level people can sink just for temporal power.”
He made that Facebook post on the 20th of March, 2020, by 7:22am.
Irked by what he perceived as an attack on his leadership over that post, Ikpeazu allegedly ordered Mr Ogbonna be arrested and has not been seen even as family members and friends have been denied access to Afara Prison, Umahia, the State Capital, where he’s being held.
His last post was on the 24th of March at 6:46am when he commended President Muhammadu Buhari for passing orders for people living in Lagos and Abuja to stay at home to contain the spread of coronavirus.
That was shortly after he had announced he would self isolate saying there won’t be any hand shake during the period of the pandemic.
Daily Mail learned he was arrested that same 24th of March, and charged to court for cyber stalking that same day. He was granted bail immediately by the court according to family sources but has been denied his freedom after meeting the bail conditions.
According to family and friends, the governor has vowed to make him suffer and “go through hell for joining critics to ridicule him,” a claim Daily Mail could not independently verify.
But the oath the governor allegedly undertook that Mr Ogbonna referenced in his post was entered into on the 26th of September 2014, in India.
According to part of the agreement circulating online, Ikpeazu promised not to interfere with anything the sponsors desired to do.
The oath which the governor swore to said, “That i shall not interfere with any appointment, contracts, purchases and other sundries to be made by my sponsors as avenues to recouping the resources spent during the election.
“That I shall never contest any amount presented to me or to be deducted by my sponsors as expenses incurred by installing me as the governor of Abia State, Nigeria.

“That my loyalty to my sponsor while I remain the governor of the state shall remain constant while I shall inquire and take directives from my sponsors virtually in all matters throughout my days as Governor of Abia State, Nigeria.”

The oath agreement further said, “This document represents an evidence of the oral oath that I have taken and stands as a remembrance for any violation shall bring a permanent curse from the great Harashima upon me, my family and the entire state.
“I swear by this oath agreement with my entire life on this date before phish Royal Mystic Emperor of Harashima, the Great Hindu god.”
According to a source which leaked parts of the oath agreement, it was part of the documents taken by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, during a raid on one of the houses of the immediate past Governor of the state, Orji, now a senator.
Daily Mail had reported that neither the governor nor the senator has denied the raging allegation. Attempts to speak with them too have been rebuffed.
It could be recalled another PDP governor, Ben Ayade of Cross River State ordered the arrest of the publisher of Cross River Watch, Agba Jalingo who was denied bail and kept in prison for almost a year. His wife at a time raised an alarm of threats against her life and went into hiding for voicing out concerns over the life of her husband.
Jalingo was charged by the local court in the state for treason raising criticism for the governor for lack of constitutional powers.
The publisher was chronicling how the governor had been looting the state, some through microfinance bank and using his siblings as fronts, some of who hold prime positions in his government.
The EFCC at a time arrested the governor’s younger brother in connection with the financial sleaze but released him after evidence showed the governor’s complicity.
In Nigeria, just like a sitting president, governors enjoy immunity and can’t be prosecuted until after serving out their terms in office.
Another notable social media critic simply known as Dadiyatu has been missing for as many months with accusation that the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, instigated his arrest, an accusation he has vehemently denied.
Dadiyata has not been charged to court with human rights watch and Amnesty International raising concerns over his safety.
There are reports the administration of Muhammadu Buhari through the Department of State Security, DSS, has arrested critics who are languishing in the secret police’s cell. Buhari’s government has been known for disobeying court orders and openly boasting in the media that final decisions on who to release lies with him.
The former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki spent more than four years in jail after securing bail from national and regional courts in what was linked to his role in the overthrow of Buhari while he was Military Head of State in 1984.
Similarly, the Leader of the Shiites group in Nigeria, Ibrahim El Zakzaky, was kept in jail for many years after securing bail and meeting the terms. His members were shot at in Zaria, Kaduna during procession with over one thousand members killed and many hounded to jail.
Most recently, the Leader of #RevolutionNow and former Presidential candidate, Omoleye Sowore, was arrested for accusation of cyber stalking and bid to overthrow Buhari over his persistent criticism of the government.
He secured bail but was denied freedom for months raising serious local and international criticisms of human rights abuse from the government.
African governments are wont to putting in jail journalists and general critics. The mentality is synonymous to military administration when people where arrested for allegations that remained unproven and put away.
Journalists in Egypt have come under serious attacks since the ascension of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as Egyptian President in a military coup.
A number of journalist including Aljazeera’s Mahmoud Hussein have been in jail for more than three years without court appearance.
Monica Scott (Regional Editor) in South Africa edited and provided analysis for this story

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