By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has expressed shock and consternation at the reported threats being made against the life of one of Nigeria’s best known Philanthropists and politicians- Prince Ned Nwoko by some forces allegedly opposed to his fast rising status in the contemporary society.
The Rights group said the security forces including the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu and the Director General of the Department of States Services Malam Yusuf Bichi Magaji should as a matter of national urgency, take immediate steps and far reaching actions to investigate the allegations because of the dangerous times that we are in whereby the value of life in Nigeria has been sacrificed on the alter of mischief and organised charade by series of armed non state actors in collaboration with certain reactionary forces embedded in some levels of government in Nigeria.
In a media Statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said on no account should these reported threats be taken for granted given the trajectories of violent incidents and cocktails of killings that have occured in the sleepy town of Idumuje Ugboko in Delta State as consequences of some fratricidal discord over traditional stool and other land ownership related disputes for which some suspects have already been charged before the Federal High Court, Abuja division for terror related charges.
HURIWA said that for months, we have expressed concern about series of demonizing and highly incendiary newspaper articles and news materials obviously sponsored to graphically depict Prince Ned Nwoko as an insatiable land grabber and obviously erroneously blaming him for the decisions of the Federal Attorney General and minister of justice Abubakar Malami(SAN) to institute charges of terror related offences slammed on some persons connected allegedly with the fratricidal land and traditional stool related disputes in Idumuje Ugboko in Delta State whereby the ex- Federal House of Representatives member and the UK trained Maritime Lawyer is building the first of its kind Sports and Science University known as STARS UNIVERSITY with forty percent equity conceded to the catchment area of Idumuje Ugboko which is the ancestral home of the prominent lawyer Prince Ned Nwoko.
“By this media Statement, on behalf of over ten thousand registered members and three thousand affiliate associations, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) is specially appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct his security chiefs to transparently and comprehensively investigate these allegations of threats to the lives of Prince Ned Nwoko, his family members and associates. We live in a season of organised killings and the security forces should not take it lying low. We do not expect that the security forces will fail to take pre-emptive action to prevent any sort of killings from happening rather than do nothing until someone is hurt and then to spring into action. These allegations are serious enough to be given the highest priority”.
HURIWA quoting media reports stated that ,Hon. Ned Nwoko had fingered RainOil’s founder, Gabriel Ogbechie in connection with an alleged plot to murder him (Nwoko). The person been fingered has already denied the allegations.
HURIWA recalled that In a press statement released by Nwoko’s media office and made available to newsmen, Ogbechie was said to have already been arrested and drilled by the police at the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Police Command, Abuja, to tell them what he knew about the despicable plot to assassinate Prince Ned Nwoko.
Nwoko’s statement is in reaction to a press conference held by Dr Gabriel Ogbechie of Rain Oil and the subsequent publications over the communal crisis at Idumuje-Ugboko, in Aniocha North local government area of Delta state, as well as his denial of being arrested by the police .
The statement reads in full: “The attention of Honourable Prince Ned Nwoko, through phone calls , text messages and mails, have been drawn to a press conference held by Dr Gabriel Ogbechie of Rain Oil and the subsequent publications over the communal crisis at Idumuje-Ugboko, in Aniocha North local government area of Delta state “.
HURIWA recalled that the media office of Prince Ned Nwoko graphically presented the alleged plots against his life thus: “To put the records straight, a prisoner in Kuje Prison overheard his fellow inmates discussing a plan to assassinate Prince Ned Nwoko. These imnates were hoodlums arrested for the mayhem in Idumuje-Ugboko in 2017 and they are now facing trials for murder and terrorism in a Federal High Court , Abuja. Ogbechie is widely known to have arranged bail for some of these gangsters and he has published same in the media.
As the hoodlums talked about their barbaric and demonic plans, they also mentioned names of their collaborators and sponsors . References were made to an oil magnate in Idumuje-Ugboko, who owns chains of filling stations and that is Dr Ogbechie. Both Ogbechie and Prince Ned hail from this village.
Their fellow inmate and whistle blower who overheard their devious plot did not know Prince Ned. But he knew Prince Ned Nwoko ‘s wife, Regina Daniels Nwoko, to be the Brand Ambassador to a product, a brand owned by a member of his church. So, he quickly sent a text message to the church member on what he had heard. It was the church member who then alerted Regina Daniels Nwoko,prompting her to inform her husband.”
HURIWA said: “We are saying it loud and clear that the heads of the security forces must up their investigative game to seriously consider activating immediate but thorough forensic investigations of these plots against Prince Ned Nwoko who has over the past few Months faced unwarranted attacks against his person only because of his near infinite generosity to his immediate community and for speaking out against oppressive and reactionary forces bent on enslaving poor people in Idumuje Ugboko and subjecting them to odious indignities and humiliation all because they are standing on their grounds of principles against what they perceived as attempts to hijack their revered traditional institution by certain interested parties for their personal aggrandizement”.