GOVERNOR Emeka Ihedioha has asked the people of Imo State to carry out a citizen’s arrest of his predecessor Senator Rochas Okorocha whenever they see him and hand him over to the police for assaulting a government official.
On May 29 this year, Governor Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took over from Senator Okorocha of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who has since been elected as a lawmaker and since then, a war of words has ensued between both camps. Governor Ihedioha has accused Senator Okorocha of plundering the state while the former governor has accused his successor engaging in a witchunt against him.
Yesterday, things came to a head when Governor Ihedioha ordered a citizen’s arrest against Senator Okorocha for assaulting a government official called Jasper Ndubuaku. According to Uche Onyeaguocha, the secretary to the Imo State government, Mr Ndubuaku, the chairman of the Recovery of Government Properties Agency, was assaulted at Senator Okorocha’s residence while he was there carrying out his constitutional duties.
In a video, trending online, some thugs were seen beating Mr Ndubuaku at Senator Okorocha’s residence on Spibatt Avenue, Owerri. Rabiu Ladodo, the Imo State police commissioner confirmed that a citizen’s arrest had been declared on Senator Okorocha over the incident.
Mr Onyeaguocha claimed that Senator Okorocha hired thugs to attack Mr Ndubuaku, who doubles as a special adviser to Governor Ihedioha on security matters. He added that the senator representing Imo West Senatorial District would be arrested and prosecuted anytime he sets foot in the state.
This incident happened barely 24 hours after traditional rulers in the state issued a stern warning to Senator Okorocha against disrupting the activities of the recovery team. Mr Ndubuaku alleged that he was beaten at Senator Okorocha’s residence and thrown into a gutter by some thugs.
He further alleged that he was first held hostage for some hours by the thugs in the presence of security men attached to Senator Okorocha’s residence. He added that the recovery team obtained a court order to search Senator Okorocha’s house, so he was performing his lawful duties.
Mr Ndubuaku said: “We got a court order to recover stolen properties kept in Okorocha’s house and when we got to his house on Thursday, armed thugs attacked us. There are 20 government vehicles in his house, four speedboats, one movable crane and generator sets, which we went to recover before the incident.
“We will not give up the battle, we will go back to his house because the property belongs to the Imo government.”
Sam Onwuemeodo, Senator Okorocha’s spokesman, said the recovery committee was attacked by the former governor’s sympathisers and passersby. He added that the recovery team went to Senator Okorocha’s house without a court order, adding that they invaded the residence with no fewer than 50 thugs.