Barely 24 hours after some elders of a senatorial district in Imo State prodded State Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State to arrest his predecessor for crimes against the state, the order has gone forth, but this is because thugs allegedly doing the former governor’s bidding allegedly assaulted a top government official, Mr. Jasper Ndubuaku.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Uche Onyeaguocha, gave the order after the Chairman of the Committee on Recovery of Government Properties, Ndubuaku, and members of his committee were assaulted at Okorocha’s Owerri residence.
But Okorocha was absolved of any involvement in the drama by his aide who said Senator Rochas Okorocha was not in the Owerri when the thugs allegedly carried out the attack. The Police boss in the State, Rabiu Ladodo, has promised to investigate if Okorocha was involved in the ugly incident.
Onyeaguocha said that the state had also placed Okorocha on security watch and urged Imo State citizens to arrest him and alert the government whenever they found him in the state.
Thugs on Thursday attacked members of the Committee on Recovery of Movable Government Assets at Okorocha’s house.
The Committee members had stormed the former governor’s residence to retrieve several government property, including 20 security and protocol vehicles, four speedboats donated to the state by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the only serviceable crane owned by the state used to install and repair street lights, over 100 streetlight poles.
The committee members met the security operatives made up of the military and police guarding the house, who requested to know why they had come.
The security men told Ndubuaku and his team to go across the road and wait for them to confirm whether or not the properties were still inside the compound.
As they waited, more than 50 youths mostly armed allegedly came out of Okorocha’s house and attacked the committee members. Many members of the committee fled, leaving their chairman behind.
The thugs allegedly descended on Ndubuaku, who fell into the gutter.
Speaking with journalists after the incident, Ndubuaku said he and his committee members had gone to the former governor’s house with a court order to retrieve the items that were still kept in his house.
The chairman said the security men at the gate cooperated with him and asked him to stay aside while they were checking things out.
He added: “As we stepped aside, the boys numbering more than 50 stormed out and charged at us. They started shooting at me and when that didn’t work, they stabbed me but could not cut me. So they tore my clothes while I was still inside the gutter.”
He vowed not to give up, insisting that those properties must be recovered.
But Okorocha’s spokesman, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, dismissed Ndubuaku’s claims as untrue, saying the former governor had not been in Owerri for days now.
He disclosed that Ndubuaku wanted to invade the residence of Okorocha before he was stopped
“They were about to surge into the Sipbat residence of the former governor when the information came and youths with sympathy for the former governor rushed to the place to stop them.”
But the state Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Ladodo, and SSG confirmed the attack to journalists at a joint news briefing in Owerri.
The SSG announced that a citizen’s arrest had been declared on Okorocha over the incident adding that the former Governor allegedly brought in thugs to attack Ndubuaku.
He said that the Senator would be arrested and prosecuted anytime he entered the state.