Saturday, 3 May 2014

Open Letter: A Call For Assistance

Kenneth Uwadi


02/05/14
From YAHVCP South-South Zone
Choba, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Tel: 08037982714

To Civil Liberties Organization
13 Soji Adepegba Close
Off Allen Avenue - Ikeja
Lagos
Nigeria

Harassment, Intimidation And Victimization Of  Comrade  Kenneth Uwadi And His Family  By The Imo State House Of Assembly : A Call For Assistance
The Youths Against  Human Rights Violation  And  Corrupt Practices (YAHVCP)  wish to  inform you    and the general public about the harassment , victimization and intimidation of our  national coordinator  Comrade Kenneth Uwadi and members of his family by police officers of Egbema  police station. Some  of the police officers have alleged that the order to harass Uwadi came from the Imo House of Assembly Speaker. It is no secret that Uwadi  has been a strong critic of the Imo State House of Assembly  which has been run under the dark by Rt Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu. He  has been under the vigilance of the Imo House of Assembly  on account of his doggedness in fighting  corruption  in the House , which the House  dubbed as working for his pay-masters to distract them. 

The first attempt to arrest Uwadi   was the March 8th 2014  invasion of  his  residence in  Egbema  in Ohaji/Egbema LGA  of Imo State Nigeria  by  armed uniformed  police officers from the Egbema Police Station. The invaders stormed his  place in a crude military-like assault asking for him and ransacking  his  place but he  was not at home. The second attempt was  on the 28th of April 2014 . They came asking for him and attempted arresting his father  Chief Vitus Uwadi who is a retired police officer. They also came again on the 30th of April  2014 and on the 2nd of May 2014  and harassed Chief Uwadi attempting to bundle him into their van but were resisted by youths of Mmahu. The Speaker’s praise singers  and  aides are  even boasting on  the social media    about  how they will jail  the blogger, columnist and human rights activist via a stage managed court.

YAHVCP see all these intimidation, harassment and victimization of Uwadi  and his family  as breaching the part of the Nigerian Constitution which allows all citizens open-power of expression and   denying journalists, columnists ,bloggers and activists  their  freedom of  expression  on both Local, State and National government  issues. We  believe that  Uwadi  and Rt Hon Uwajumogu  don't have any personal squabbles, but  on governance transparency. We will not be intimidated.

A  Legislative  House as you know, is often referred to as a hallowed place - hallowed, not because GOD inhabits it; hallowed because it is expected to make laws for the common good of the generality of the people. And as an institution entrusted with such a sacred task, any of its operator – whether civil servant or politician – should be, as the Holy Scriptures say in Psalms 24 verse 4, “one who has clean hands and a pure heart and  who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.”

But we were immensely shocked to read in the newspapers how the Speaker looted Imo State monies via road contract scam and used the money to acquire eye popping mansions all over. Citizen Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha the man who  blew the whistle on corruption in the Imo House of Assembly is also being ridiculed and victimized  by  the Speaker and his aides  and ostracized by the Imo state  government  authorities. Funny enough, Iwuoha was a former media aide to the Speaker.

As a Youth group with one of its core objectives of assisting in solving societal problems, including the eradication of corruption, we quickly investigated the allegations  and eventually found it to be true. We even took pictures of some of the buildings and the roads constructed by the Speaker’s company.We also  discovered that since  the last thirty six months  that Rt Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu   was stamped into office as Speaker  by a band of rough necks it is manifestly clear of a complete flight of good  legislative laws in the Imo House of Assembly  such that a bill was passed legalizing abortion in the state and what is in place in the house now  is  mindless looting of the Imo  treasury via road contract scams.

Only one man in the State has stolen  over  N3billion naira Imo tax payers money and they want us  to keep quite. One man has  stolen over N3billion naira  In a state where more than 80 percent of the population do not have access to potable/pipe-borne water supply, and where tertiary institutions in the state have no functional ICT facilities. N3 billion can at least lay some pipes for water supply for some areas in Imo State  where potable pipe-borne water supply has been non-existent for years. The money can even procure farm inputs and equipments for Imo  farmers.

YAHVCP  is  calling on the Imo House of Assembly  members to impeach the Speaker Rt Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu immediately  for corruption . Due to the plethora of scandals and long train of abuses of legislative powers and corruption  surrounding him , he is  now  unfit to lead the  House and should be removed. Right now 15,321(fifteen  thousand three hundred and twenty one ) Imo citizens drawn from the 27 LGA of the state  have signed  our Impeach Imo Speaker’s petition and we will send copies to the house via DHL..

We will not succumb to any manner of intimidation and victimization.The Speaker should   go on with his  Abacha like style of intolerance to the truth and his war against free speech and war against the press fully backed by his   thieving cabals in  the Imo State House of Assembly  but we will  continue to tell  them to stop looting Imo State  monies. Nigeria is practicing democracy, not dictatorship. Anyone ordering for the arrest and trial  of any Journalist, blogger or activists  in Nigeria can't be described better than he or she is a dictator. Comrade Uwadi  is not a terrorist, but a columnist, blogger and activist , clear headed and objective in the course of transparent writing. We know that history has never been merciful to any person or government whose stock-in-trade is dictatorship.

Interestingly while this Abacha style of hounding crept into Imo, some politicians and leaders of Imo State  rather than condemn and take a position against corruption are  behaving  as if it is none of their business, yes to them, it is  a Kenneth Uwadi and a Samuelson Iwuoha’s  affair yet many of them are currently jostling to govern the State in 2015. They are afraid to speak against corruption in the state yet they want to rule the state.

YAHVCP is calling on the  human rights community  in Nigeria and abroad  and Imo people in Nigeria and  abroad  to come to our aid  as we fight this corruption in the Imo House of Assembly. We are also seeking legal backings from human rights lawyers as we head to the court to shame corruption in the Imo House of assembly. The above demand has become necessary in our quest to restore the dignity which the Imo House of Assembly has lost to corruption. Aluta Continua, Victoria Ascerta.

Signed:

Kenneth Uwadi
YAHVCP National Coordinator

Amaka Didanda
YAHVCP Media Affairs Director

Comrade Weli Chinda
YAHVCP South-South Coordinator

Copies to:
International Human Rights Law Group, Centre for Free Speech, Centre for Justice, Democracy and Human Rights in Nigeria, International Federation of Lawyers, Civil Liberty Organization, Civil Rights Concern, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Human Rights Network (HURINET),Human Development Foundation of Nigeria, Human Development Initiative, Human Rights & Development Education Center, Human Rights & Empowerment Project, Human Rights Africa, Human Rights Law Service (Hurilaws),Human Rights Monitor, Campaign for Child Right (CFCR),Campaign for Democracy (CD),Center for Advancement of Democracy and the rule of Law (CADRL),Centre for Democracy & Human Rights (CDHR),Integrated Development Services (IDS) ,Due Process Advocates, Action for Nigeria Integrity and Protection Network, Advocacy Committee Against Hunger (ACAH),Women for Democracy& Leadership, Women's Right Action Group, League of Human rights, Leadership Watch, Legal Watch Organization, Amazon Watch, Human Rights watch, Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, Article 19,Avocats Sans Frontières, Breakthrough (human rights),Carter Center, CCJO René Cassin, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian law, Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE),Committee to Protect Journalists ,Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Crypto Rights Foundation, Cultural Survival, Disabled Peoples' International, Enough Project, Ensemble contre la peine de mort, Equality Now, Every Human Has Rights, Forum 18,Free the Slaves, Freedom from Torture, Freedom House, Freedom Later on after Dinner, Friends of Peoples Close to Nature, Society for Threatened Peoples, GIRCA, Global Rights, Global Youths for Human Rights Group, Global Peace Promoters, Habitat International Coalition, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Helsinki Watch, Hindu American Foundation, Hindu Human Rights, Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation, Human Life International, Human Rights Internet, Human Rights Defence, Human Rights First, Human Rights Foundation.

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