Uzodinma Accuses Okorocha Of Being Behind His Arrest
The Imo state All Progressives Congress (APC), governorship candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma, is to appear today before the Special Presidential Investigation Panel For Recovery of Public Property (SPIPRPP) in connection with the $12 million contract for the dredging of Calabar channel.
Naija News reported on how he was arrested on Sunday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by operatives of the panel for the failure of his company to execute the said contract, which was awarded by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
He was, however, allowed to go home and report to the panel yesterday (Monday) at 10 am, but he failed to show up. Irked by the development, operatives of the panel yesterday stormed his Abuja residence where he was re-arrested.
Confirming the incident to Daily Sun, Chairman of the panel, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, stated: “We arrested him yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for the failure of his company to execute a contract of $12m for the dredging of Calabar channel. However, because we allowed him to go and report to our office today (Monday) by 10am since we do not have a detention facility.
“He agreed to make himself available and we allowed him to go. But surprisingly, we waited for him but he did not show up.
“We drove to his Abuja residence today and re-arrested him but he pleaded with us that he is a high blood pressure patient and that he will make himself available to our office today (Tuesday) at 10 am. So, we left him with the hope that he will honour the appointment.”
Meanwhile, Uzodinma has accused Governor Rochas Okorocha of sponsoring the story of his purported arrest by SPIPRPP, saying that there was no iota of truth in the sponsored story.
A statement signed by the Director of Media and Special Duties of the Hope Uzodinma Campaign Organization, Declan Emelumba, said the story was planted by Okorocha and his cohorts out of their desperation to tarnish the image of the distinguished senator before the Imo electorate who are poised to vote for him in 2019.
He said that Okorocha has refused to come to grips with reality that his son in-law, Uche Nwosu, will not be his successor in 2019, and that he is, therefore, out to damage APC and its governorship candidate in Imo State.
The statement wondered when it became the duty of the Chairman of the panel Chief Obono-Obala to send messages to correspondents directly.
According to him, “if there was any arrest, is it not the press department of the panel that will issue such a statement to the entire media and not just to punchng.com?
“It is very obvious that Okorocha and his people are behind this evil story. They have planned so much against the APC governorship candidate, from the phony dud cheque issue to a non-existent non-assets declaration charge. Their latest plot is this Calabar dredging contract. However, they should know that the company handling the Calabar dredging contract is Calabar Channels Management Company in which Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has 60% equity shares. So, if there is anybody to be arrested for anything, then it is the Managing Director of NPA and not a minority partner, Niger Global, in which Uzodinma is a shareholder.”
Emelumba maintained that there is clear evidence that this is a failed plot by the governor and his men.
He said: “The fact that simultaneously as they planted the Punch online story, their own so called state publicity secretary of APC Imo State, Onwuasonya FCC Jones, issued a press release celebrating the false arrest and even said in the statement that it was from their investigation that they found out about the “arrest” of the senator, shows clearly that they are behind the whole plot.”