Umahi’s Aide Fingered in ThisDay journalist arrest, Detention

*‘I have no hand in journalist arrest, detention’ – Umahi’s aide


By Chinwe Onwosi

The Senior Special Assistant to the Ebonyi State Governor on Assembly Matters and former member of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Hon. Julius Nwokpo has been Fingered as the mastermind behind the arrest and detention of Thisday Newspaper Correspondent and Vice Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Ebonyi State Chapter, Mr. Benjamin Nworie.

Mr. Benjamin Nworie was said to have been arrested and detained at the Ebonyi State Police Command early hours of Saturday, January 16th 2021, following a petition alleged to have been masterminded by Nwokpor and cohorts over chieftaincy matters in Ezzagu community where both of them hail from.

The journalist, who also alleged threat to his life by former House of Assembly member, Julius Nwokpor and his allies said he was in Ezzagu community where he was meeting with some members of his community when his arrest took place.

In an open letter addressed to the governor, Engr. David Umahi and made available to THE VOICE, Mr. Nworie narrates how the Ex lawmaker has become a thorn in his flesh in recent times and called on all relevant authorities to call him to order.

“The concern is to bring to your notice the wittingly confrontation and opposition to government decisions by Hon. Julius Nwokpor and his conscripted cohorts who are bent on causing total breach of peace in Ezzagu Community.

“As your appointee, it baffles and worries me why Hon. Julius Nwokpor has been leading a dissident group to fight and oppose the leadership of Ogboji General Assembly, a town Union of Ezzagu Community as constituted by the Chairman of Ishielu local government area, Hon. Sunday Henry Eze, which was ratified by both the Commissioners of Internal security and his Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters counterpart.

“Without fear of contradiction, Hon. Julius Nwokpor and his group have not hidden their disdain to the administration of Sunday Henry Eze, which has been traced to be secretly sponsored by a Serving Senator, just to cause crisis in Ezzagu Community and distract your administration both at the local government and State level.

“The role of Hon. Julius Nwokpor as a leader of the group was confirmed by one of the petitioners, Donatus Nwekpa, during interrogation by the police.

“The petition against me was sequel to my appointment by the legitimate National Caretaker President, Comrade John Anyalegu, as the Electoral Committee Chairman for the selection of the traditional ruler of Ezzagu Community.

“Your Excellency, my life is under threat as a Journalist following the recent onslaught and harrasment masterminded by Hon. Julius Nwokpor and his group using security agent”, part of the open letter reads.

Addressing journalists in Abakaliki on Sunday, Nwokpor denied the allegations in its entirety, noting that Nworie is his brother whom he cherished so much.

“I didn’t write any petition against Benjamin Nworie, neither did I send anybody to do that on my behalf nor privy to any petition that led to his arrest.

“Yes, there is chieftaincy issue in our community; the matter has gone to Court and the court has given judgment in favour of the forcefully dissolved executive, but some people are still backing the illegally constituted executive to install the traditional ruler of the community with impunity.

“Let it be very clear that I am not against Ben my brother, all we are saying is that the order of the court should be obeyed because peace is sacrosanct in our peaceful coexistence”, Nwokpor stressed.

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