Former Ebonyi lawmaker denies involvement in abduction and torture of community leader

Linus Abba Okorie, a former member of the House of Representatives, who represented Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo Federal Constituency, has denied involvement in the abduction and torture of Barr. Amos Ogbonnaya.

WITHIN NIGERIA gathered that Ogbonna, a former Coordinator of Anuagata Development Centre in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, was abducted by unknown hoodlums on Thursday evening, May 13, on his way back from a Parents Teachers Association meeting.

The victim, a key leader of G13 group, had appeared on a television programme last week and kicked against the policies of Governor Umahi. He was released on Friday morning with severe injuries all over his body and is currently lying critically ill in a hospital.

The G13 group alleged that due to the media appearance, Amos was threatened by the Governor’s aides and party men. They claimed that his abduction was planned by an aide of one of the special assistants to Umahi.

In a statement issued on Friday, May 14, Okorie described the allegations of his involvement as “false, concocted, childish, unfounded, unintelligent, imbecilic and, evidently, a hollow decoy intended to divert the attention of the public and security agencies from otherwise credible leads pointing strongly in the direction of the APC, its members and authorities in the state.”

Read his statement below:

My attention has been drawn to an irresponsible and unconscionable press release by the Ebonyi State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Ogbuatu Chidi Simbad, alleging that I “ordered the kidnap” of Amos Ogbonnaya, one of the embattled former Development Centre Coordinators currently in a running battle with the State Government over issues bordering on their past service and welfare.

The infantile argument of the illogical statement is that the victim offended me by attending a reconciliation meeting with an official of the state government that was,allegedly, held Palm Bay, a public place that is always full of people and activities.

This, in the juvenile and warped interpretation of the Ebonyi APC apparatchik, meant betrayal by Amos.

I wish to state unequivocally that the allegation is false, concocted, childish, unfounded, unintelligent, imbecilic and, evidently, a hollow decoy intended to divert the attention of the public and security agencies from otherwise credible leads pointing strongly in the direction of the APC, its members and authorities in the state.

I challenge the Ebonyi APC and its Publicity Secretary to go public with evidence substantiating its various allegations against me and the Ebonyi state chapter of the PDP in this heinous crime. As the ruling party in the state, it beggers reason that it has so much evidence of the motive and details of a kidnap, yet has done nothing to rescue the victim so he can narrate his story to the police to facilitate the arrest and prosecution of the culprits.

Without preempting the eventual outcome of ongoing investigations by the police and other securty agencies, I am convinced that whoever authored or authorized that jaundiced press release of the APC knows the abductors and whereabouts of Amos Ogbonnaya, and should be held to account.

It is already in the public domain and, yet, undenied that one of the alleged abductors Chinonso Obasi (Consider) is a member of the APC, an Aide to a serving SSA to the governor, a member of the State Taskforce on IGR and probably also, a member of the speedily notorious EBUBEAGU.

No amount of consulated decoys and sophistry will detract attention from that undenied fact, especially as both the victim and the suspect hail from the same Okposi community and the crime happened on home-ground. Am confident that whenever Amos is released, tie world shall hear his full story. Let it be clearly state that my long standing relationship with the good people of Okposi Ezinasato, which is the intendment of the false allegation, remain untainted and flourishing.

Neither myself nor any true Onicha Igboeze son will be party to such a dastardly criminal act against an illustrious som of Okposi as in the present case. I feel the collective pain of the Okposi Exinasato clan amd will renain a part of unearthing the truth behind the crime so as to avoid a repeat.

I wish to passionately appeal to the Governor David Umahi to quickly intervene and ensure that Amos is not killed to cover up the identity of his abductors. This is more so given that the painful memory of the Late Ihebunandu Okorie, himself a former Coordinator in Okposi, and how he was mysteriously murdered is still very fresh to allow a repeat.

The spate of insecurity in the state too behooves the state government to ensure that its officials and organs live well above board, and are not themselves, part of the problem.

Finally, I hereby make myself available to the police and other securty agencies at any time in the course of their investigation of this heinous crime.

At the same time, let me sound a clear note of intention to pursue my right to protect my name and hard earned integrity against the purveyors of this criminal allegation, should it finally be proven that it is false and unfounded.

Rep. Linus Okorie,FCA

Member, House of Representatives (2011-2019)


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