By Emeka Ahaneku
With the return of Nigeria to the form of democratic governance, fundamental human rights, which is one of the key ingredients of a democratic government could be said to have enjoyed a significant reign in its operations.
As a major component to the realization of democratic best practice for Nigeria, right to freedom of speech has been one of the sustaining mechanisms of an enduring democracy, as it has properly aided in the enlightenment of the citizenry on the actions and inactions of people around us, especially, the political class.
With this remarkable changes have been recorded in our society, while the government has woken up to its responsibilities apparently, for fear of being criticized unjustly.
It is however appalling, that this noble democratic tenet has been greatly abused by those that could be described as “agents of destabilization”, who hide under the cloak of “Human Rights” to undermine institutions and individuals in a bid to achieve their selfish ends.
One of such abuses against this democratic ethos could be seen in the recent gang-up against the leadership of the Imo State House of Assembly, by faceless hawks who also made the former Media Assistant to the Speaker, Mr. Samuelson Iwuoha, a willing tool for the hatchet job.
In the spirit of free speech, Mr. Iwuoha, had in the meantime, thrown decorum into the thrash – bins of history when he infamously accused his former boss of perpetrating corruption to an unimaginable proportion after he had been disgraced out of office as a Media Assistant, for lacking the requisite competence to discharge the onerous tasks, bothering largely on Media Management.
Unable to swallow the bitter pills of disgrace occasioned by his sack, Mr. Iwuoha, hurriedly resorted to an aggressive social media campaign against his estranged benefactor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu, inundating users of the social media (face book) with scurrilous mendacious and hyper – fabricated folktales with the intent of smearing the intimidating political profile of the speaker which his cohorts equally cashed into for their selfish political exigencies.
Irked by the inability of Mr. Iwuoha, who thought that the inteillectual people of the state are ‘zombies’, to provide substantial evidence to backup his weighty allegations, since he was already in to spill the beans, relevant stakeholders like different youths Associations, Professional bodies, even his fellow Social Activists came out openly to join in the crusade against the cancerous monster called corruption which has dealt a deadly blow to the growth of our economy since independence.
Before these joint calls by the good people of the state, Mr. Iwuoha, had in one of his releases called on the State House of Assembly to urgently among other things, institute a probe over his allegations, even though, he was not an elected member of the House.
In a bid to live up to its name as lawmakers, who have sworn to ensure that rule of law prevailed in our clime, the State House of Assembly, in an apparent effort to do Samuelson Iwuoha’s bidden, on the 26th of March, 2014, constituted an Ad-hac committee with the mandate to probe the weighty allegations made by Mr. Iwuoha, to ascertain their veracity or otherwise.
Having noticed that his game was up after the Senior Special Assistant to the Speaker on Media, Mr. Emeka Ahaneku, released a recorded telephone conversations he had with him (Samuelson) which was also relayed at an early morning news broadcast of the Orient Fm, things were never the same again, as Mr. Iwuoha, resorted to name – calling, describing the committee set up as ‘Kangaroo’, while branding its members as agents of corruption.
In the conversation which lasted extensively up to 15 minutes, Mr. Iwuoha, in clear terms, told Emeka Ahaneku that his allegations against the Speaker were conjured, and as a result, he can still come out and refute it only if he is properly settled.
After he had seen that the committee set up by the House of Assembly was ready to puncture his perfected plans of blackmail, Mr. Iwuoha, turned into a singing bird, telling anybody who cares to listen that his case is with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as a result, he would not honour the invitation of the House Committee. What a gut!
Probing minds however, began to ask, is there any inter-connectivity between the anti-graft agency and the functions of the State Assembly. Again, what is the possibility that when evidences of his allegations are laid before the committee which was going to be relayed before the members of the public it would be rejected?
It is however, imperative to state that Mr. Iwuoha, is using the EFCC as a smoke screen to evade justice, while continuing in his mischievous blackmailing escapades.
It will also be of utmost importance to clarify that the EFCC is a very serious anticorruption institution set up to achieve a determined objective and not for sheer alarmists and whistle – blowers. Before the EFCC swings into action over a petition addressed to it, certain stringent administrative procedures are undertaken in order for the commission to protect its activities from ridicule. Part of the procedure is that the petitioner is expected to appear in person with his petitions and court’s sanctioned affidavit, authenticating the genuiness and sincerity of the petitioner. Thereafter, the petitioner is further grilled to enable the commission not embark on wild goose chase. And finally, after the commission had ascertained the authenticity of the petitioner’s allegations, he is then issued with an acknowledgement of the said petition, properly embossed with the commission’s official seal.
It is therefore, foolhard and a sheer insolence on the sensibility of the enlightened people of the state for Mr. Iwuoha, to sit on the comfort zone of the social media and claim to have petitioned the anti-graft agency. This however, warranted recent calls by concerned Imolites, urging Mr. Iwuoha to come up with an acknowledgement copy of the said petition to the EFCC, since he could not summon the courage to come out from his cubicle and point at those allegations.
Moreover, it would be recalled that the House probe panel committee swung into action when it called for a public hearing on the 4th of April, 2014, after Mr. Iwuoha and his partners were duly invited to appear before it and explain to Ndi-Imo evidences of their allegations. Notwithstanding the invitation, Samuelson Iwuoha, once again, exhibited his usual disdain for constituted authorities when he boycotted the panel sitting.
Members of the panel had gathered, together with the members of the public and the press to hear from the horse’s mouth, when it dawned on them that Mr. Iwuoha would not show up, after they had waited for several hours. The chairman of the panel, Hon. Ikenna Emeh, used the forum to plead with Mr. Iwuoha to choose any venue that is convenient for him, while pledging that the panel would guarantee his maximum security. It however, adjourned to the 11th of April, to enable Mr. Iwuoha, get his foreworks ready. The adjourned date came with the events of the previous date repeating itself, as Mr. Iwuoha called the panel’s prayers a bluff, whole recording conspicuous absence.
Now, the questions that are agitating the minds of the concerned Imolities are; has the House not shown true sincerity and transparency of purpose in this saga? Again, how else can the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu, prove his innocence of the unsubstantiated allegations when the principal accuser is on the run?
Indeed, it should be understood that Samuelson Ikenna Iwuoha, in his usual way of blackmail, does not have a case against the leadership of the State Assembly, as he is only being used by political jobbers to initiate unnecessary vendetta.
Finally, with these latest developments, it should be known that the truth has formally triumphed over falsehood.