The 2019 governorship candidate of Action Alliance (AA), Chief Uche Nwosu, yesterday said he was arrested by hooded operatives over an allegation that he was an arms supplier to militants and sponsor of the insecurity in Imo State.
Nwosu, therefore, called on the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Usman, to investigate his arrest and the activities of the state Police command.
He spoke yesterday with reporters at his Owerri. The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain had on Monday said the operatives threatened to blow off his head if he resisted arrest.
Nwosu was arrested during an outing service in honour of his late mother, Jemamah Nwosu, at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Eziama-Obaire in Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State.
The incident led to a verbal altercation between the Senator representing Imo West in the National Assembly, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, and the Imo State Government.
Nwosu, who is Okorocha’s son-in-law, said that at the Tactical Squad Office, Abuja where he was taken to, he was informed that someone alleged in a petition he was an arms supplier to militants.
He said: “They accused me of sponsoring insecurity in Imo state. I want to thank the IGP who intervened and ordered my release,
“I want to appeal to IGP to look into the activities of the police personnel in Imo State because what happened was because it is Uche Nwosu, what about those that are not Uche Nwosu. I am not talking about me what about other Imo youths who have nobody to speak for them.
“I am appealing to the IGP to look into this. The IGP is a good person because, without him, something else would have happened to me.
“I was taken to the Tactical Squad Office, Abuja where I was told that someone wrote a petition against me alleging that I supply arms to militants.”
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The former AA governorship candidate said the whole drama was done to humiliate and malign his image.
Further narrating his experience, he said: “Over 15 masked security operatives jumped into the church. While some rushed to the altar, some came to where I was sitting and ordered me to move or move me. They started shooting and disrupted the sermon that was ongoing. I demanded to know what was going on but they said they had an instruction to bring me.
“They manhandled me and bundled me into one of the vehicles they came in. One of them ordered me to lie down and one of them placed his leg on my head.
“When they drove off, they started making calls in the Hausa Language, and unknown to them, I understand the Hausa Language. They were telling one Shaba who is the chief security officer that they have got me.
“At Umuaka, they stopped and ordered that I should get down. At that point, I thought they were to assassinate me. They bundled me into another vehicle and they drove off.
“When we got to Owerri, three other vehicles drove straight to the government house and the one carrying me drove towards Okigwe Road and I began to ask them where they were taking me to but they never responded to me. They drove towards Okigwe and stopped.
“At that point, I thought they wanted to assassinate me. They asked me to remove my clothes, handcuffed me, snapped me, made a video, and sent it to the CSO.
“We continued until we got to Enugu airport where we boarded a charted jet to Abuja. We moved to Force Headquarters and we did an interview. They accused me of sponsoring insecurity in Imo State.”
He however said that what happened cannot deter him from being who he is or cause him to run away from Imo State.
“I am not afraid and can never be afraid to enter my state. So what happened cannot stop me from entering my state, I am now more courageous because God has delivered me from their hands. If I want to die it is better to die in my state than outside the state. So I am not afraid,” Nwosu added.
Like Nwosu, Okorocha called for an investigation of the Sunday incident, which he said was neither ordered by the state police command nor the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
He however believes that the arrest would pave the way for the unmasking of unknown gunmen who have killed many persons in the state.
Okorocha spoke on Politics Today, a Channels Television live programme monitored by The Nation.
Lamenting the manner in which Nwosu was arrested, the former governor raised the alarm that Imo State was fast sliding into Banana Republic where people now live in fear.
“What is happening in Imo state is really unfortunate and the state is becoming a banana republic and everybody appears to be living in fear. What happened to Uche Nwosu is an aberration and should never happen under our democracy,” he said.
Okorocha insisted that those that perpetrated the act were from the Imo State Government House.
He added: “There’s something that has to be unraveled in Imo State and that is unknown gunmen in the state and it appears these men are now getting to be known. And I task the IGP to tell the world the truth on this matter.
“It’s left for the police and Imo Government Government to unmask who ordered the arrest, paid for a private jet, and directed that Uche be humiliated but the truth will come out ”
However, the state government yesterday maintained that it has no hand in Nwosu’s ordeal.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba described his allegation as spurious and baseless.
“The attention of Imo State Government has been drawn to a spurious and baseless allegation by Uche Nwosu who was recently arrested by the police, for a yet to be disclosed crime, that the state government was behind his arrest. This is a malicious concoction, that can only be made up by a drowning man,” Emelumba said in a statement.
He emphasised that the administration of Hope Uzodimma did not believe in tyranny or lawlessness.
“It should be emphasized that the government of Senator Hope Uzodimma does not believe in tyranny or lawless behavior as was in the case when Uche Nwosu was the de facto deputy governor of the state,” the commissioner added.
Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has said that the arrest of Nwosu was another vindication that it had no hand in the attacks and kidnappings in Imo State.
“This is another vindication that IPOB and Eastern Security Network (ESN) are not responsible for the numerous attacks, abductions/kidnappings in Imo State contrary to false accusations and propaganda by Hope Uzodinma and his co-travelers,” IPOB said in a statement by its Spokesman, Emma Powerful.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Imo State has however apologised to the Anglican Church over the invasion of its parish by security operatives.
CAN Chairman in the state, Rev. Eches Divine-Eches, tendered the apology on Monday while addressing reporters in Owerri.
Condemning the action of the policemen, Divine-Eches asked security agencies to ensure they carried out their duty in a professional manner.