Delta State Command of the Nigeria Police Force on Sunday arrested an aspirant for House of Representatives, under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Engr. Sunday Oche.
The politician, Naija News learnt was arrested for committing forgery and perjury.
Reports had it that the political officer seeker was nabbed following a petition to the police force by one Michael Unogwu who was the APC candidate for House of Representatives in the 2019 general elections.
The petitioner claimed in his report that Oche forged his (Unogwu’s) signature on his private letter head paper, addressed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2018, stating his (Unogwu’s) withdrawal from the National Assembly race.
The petition for Oche’s arrest drafted to the Zone 7 Police Headquarters, Abuja and addressed directly to the Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) in charge of the Zone on the 19th April, 2022, Naija News understands.
Oche is said to have acted extremely shortly after Unogwu’s emergence as candidate of the APC in the election.
It is worthy to note that Oche was seeking to represent Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State.
The petition against the politician as submitted by Attorneys to Mr. Unogwu, F.S. Jimba & Co, reads in part: “after the submission of the name of our client as its candidate for the election by the APC, Mr. Oche Sunday Oche came up with a criminal design to unlawfully replace our client as APC candidate for the election. In this quest, Mr. Oche Sunday Oche criminally procured INEC form CF 004A(i) being notice of withdrawal of candidate, filled it with our client’s information, unlawfully obtained our client’s passport photograph and affixed to the said form and then forged our client’s signature on the said document.
“In addition to the above, Mr. Oche Sunday Oche placed his passport photograph on the said INEC Form CF 004A(i) as the candidate to replace our client as candidate.
“Furthermore, Mr. Oche Sunday Oche also forged a letter of withdrawal dated 15th November, 2018 and addressed to the National Chairman of APC, purportedly withdrawing our client’s candidature from the General Election. As a result of the above, the name of Mr. Oche Sunday Oche was then forwarded to INEC as candidate of APC for the election”.
The petitioners annexed the purported letter of withdrawal; INEC Form CF 004A(i) and letter of mandate from the party asking INEC to substitute the name of Mr. Unogwu for that of Engr. Oche.
Also annexed was the letter signed by the Secretary to the Commission (INEC), Rose Oriaran Anthony in December 2018, informing the party of the anomalies associated with the purported letter of withdrawal and the reply signed by the APC national Chairman, informing INEC that the letter of withdrawal was actually forged.”
Following a series of thorough investigation, it was affirmed that Oche was guilty of the charges against him.
The Zone 7 Police headquarters is, however, said to have played sluggish in the arrest of Oche after claims against him have been confirmed true.
Upon seeing that, Unogwu through his lawyers, approached the Court with a direct Criminal Complaint against the defendant, to seek his immediate prosecution for forgery, perjury and attempt to use a forged document to commit a crime.
The Chief Magistrate Court, Bwari, subsequently ordered Oche’s arrest, investigation and arraignment.
Naija News learnt that he was arrested in the early hours of Sunday at Double K resort, Otukpo, and was immediately whisked away to Abuja where he was detained at the Force headquarters till night.
However, the politician was subsequently released on bail by the police around 8pm Sunday night.
Comrade Austin Agada, the Benue State Chairman of APC, also confirmed the development to Daily Post via a telephone conversation Sunday night.
The development has since stirred controversies as a pressure group, National Liberty and Justice Movement, described the police action as unfortunate.
The national secretary of the group, Comrade Wisdom Adeleye, warned the law enforcement agency against being suppressed by the pressure from politicians in the area.
He said: “We are very much aware of this case and we shall join the suit. Our lawyers have been briefed and they shall apply to join the suit as we await the arraignment of Mr. Sunday Oche.
“The same way we monitored the case of Hon. Gololo in Bauchi, we shall be actively involved in this, to ensure justice is served. The Police should not allow pressure from any powerful politician to suppress them. The entire world is watching”, Adeleye added.