Abakaliki – Mr Awosola Awotunde, the Ebonyi Commissioner of Police, has ordered investigation into an alleged attack on Mr Linus Ogazi, Technical Assistant to Gov. Dave Umahi of the state.
Ogazi, a technical assistant to the governor on Medium, Small Scale Businesses and Data Collection was allegedly attacked at the governor’s lodge, at Government House, Abakaliki on Thursday.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mrs Loveth Odah, reacting to the alleged attack told journalists in Abakaliki on Friday that she was in her office when she heard someone screaming and shouting, ‘I want to die’, ‘they have killed me.’
According to her, the man rushed to the police headquarters around 9.30 am screaming that he was attacked and that he wants to die but that he just wanted the police to be aware.
She said: ”As Public Affairs person whose duty is to assist those in distress, I met him and asked him what the problem was. He was sounding incoherent as though he had suffered a memory loss.
”I quickly called some of my colleagues and we used my vehicle to rush him to the hospital in order to save his life first before we ask him what happened.
”At the hospital, we paid for several laboratory tests including an X-ray.
”The CP has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Intelligence Investigation Bureau (SCIIB) to carry out timely investigation into the matter.”
Meanwhile, Ogazi, who narrated his ordeal to newsmen, said that he was invited to the lodge on appointment with the governor, upon his arrival, he was told to wait for the governor.
He said: ”On Feb. 17, I was invited to a meeting by the governor at his home town in Uburu but due to circumstance, I could not attend.
”Just yesterday, Feb. 21, through a text message, the governor summoned me to another meeting at the lodge by 8 am.
”I was at the lodge by 6 am and I was told by the Chief Security Officer that the governor was still sleeping that I should wait.
”By 8.15am I filled form and immediately I entered, the governor who was already seated, started accusing me of anti party, that I am supporting the All Progressives Congress (APC).
”It was to my surprise because I have been with them all through the local government area campaigns and have been working for the success of the PDP in the elections.
”The governor started unleashing threats on me and called some persons who joined him.
”I was ordered to lie down and face downwards. I asked them what was my crime and they said I was doing anti-party and not supporting the party’s Senatorial candidate from my Ebonyi North zone.
”The governor personally slapped me in the presence of some of his aides. It was after they jointly tortured me that he ordered his Aide-De-Camp to take me out.
”I had to rush into the Police Headquarters to make entry and was assisted by the Police to come here (hospital) for an urgent medical treatment.”
Ogazi added that there were attempts to allegedly inject him with substance that was unknown to him but that he resisted the move.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Uzo, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) has denied the alleged attack and described the allegation as cheap ‘blackmail’ and devoid of any iota of truth.
”Well, we all know the character of the young man in question; and I am speaking to you in dual capacity, one as his younger brother and as a spokesman for the government.
”He is a mischievous character that thrives in blackmail and cheap propaganda.
”He is a technical assistant to the governor, member of the PDP State Executive Committee and again the governor is not contesting for senatorial election and there is no way the governor should be having an issue over senatorial election.
‘”The allegation is part of his usual blackmail and political gimmicks to attract attention.
”There is no element of truth in the purported attack; it’s a farce, it exists only in his warped imagination and I urge the public to discountenance the allegation,” Uzo said.
He said that the governor is committed to providing adequate security to lives and property of every citizen of the state as well as promoting their welfare and wellbeing.