*Tasks Gov. Ihedioha on the rescue of Justice Nwosu-Iheme
The prominent civil Rights advocacy group – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has demanded from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) a response on whether it has reached a settlement with ex-governor of Imo state Anayochukwu Rochas Okorocha of Imo state.
The Rights group said that the general perception in Imo state and all over the nation is that some politically exposed persons with series of cases of alleged financial crimes including the immediate past governor of Imo state may have secured presidential soft-landing by virtue of their membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Rights group has also expressed shock that the Imo state government has yet to initiate major intervention to compel the security forces to quicken the release of the most senior jurist of Imo state origin Justice Nwosu-Iheme of the Benin division of the court of Appeal who was kidnapped in Benin over a week ago with her orderlies shot and killed.
HURIWA has therefore charged Governor Emeka Ihedioha to roll out measures that are effective enough to enable the presidency to handle the violent kidnap of Mrs. Nwosu-Iheme of the court of Appeal as a national emergency in the same way that the federal government handled the kidnap of the wife of the Central Bank of Nigeria previously.
The silence from the South East of Nigeria and specifically from the Imo state’s administration to speak out loud and clear and demand actionable plans on the quickest rescue of one of the most senior igbo judges kidnapped over a week ago does not augur well for the wellbeing of the South East zone of Nigeria. HURIWA has also urged the kidnappers to set her free unharmed.
Endorsed by the National coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA has challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to concentrate on retrieving all alleged stolen Imo state’s assets in the last eight years and stop dissipating resources chasing after students in their hostels in Owerri over alleged advanced fees fraud when it has yet to conclusively confront the immediate past administration on the series of allegations of crass mismanagement of Imo state funds.
HURIWA wonders whether the acting chairman of EFCC Alhaji Ibrahim Magu and Chairman of ICPC are not on their desks and reading newspaper stories of the allegations of $2 million dollars bribery made against ex-governor Rochas Okorocha by his fellow party man and erstwhile special political Adviser to the president Alhaji Ahmed Gulak.
The Rights group expressed disappointment that this sort of large scale disclosure is being overlooked by both the ICPC and EFCC which according to the group is a sign that impunity has taken centre stage in Nigeria.
“HURIWA just like most bewildered Nigerians have read the chairman of the Primary Election committee, Ahmed Gulak alleged that the immediate past governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, offered him $2 million bribe to deliver certificate of return to his anointed aspirant, Uche Nwosu. Recall that whilst fielding question from The Sun correspondent, in Abuja, last weekend, the APC chieftain said that he rejected the bribe because of his integrity, arguing that it was free money he would have collected without anybody dragging him to court. However, the former governor said Gulak ought to be in jail for what he did in Imo State. He described the former presidential aide as an enemy of democracy who has repeatedly shown that he lacks character. We therefore ask both the ICPC and EFCC if Rochas Okorocha is a sacred cow that is bigger than the anti graft laws?.”
However, HURIWA wants the EFCC to invite both the person making the allegation and the one being accused to render proper account of what happened so Imo state’s fund is appropriately accounted for and repaid back to Imo state coffers.
HURIWA recalled that suspected gunmen last Wednesday in Benin City, capital of Edo State, abducted Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme of the Court of Appeal, Benin Division.
The gunmen also killed her police orderly before taking Justice Nwosu-Iheme away to an unknown destination.