Posted by News Express | 15 January 2022 | 585 times
By PAMELA EBOH, Awka
A group known as Global Initiatives For Good Governance has described the invitation of the Chairman of Cubana Group of Companies, Obi Iyiegbu (Obi Cubana) by the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) as ethnic harassment, saying that he is being persecuted because he is Igbo.
The group in a statement signed by its Director General, Chief Dr. Emeka Kalu, recalled that in November 2021, the hotel magnate was invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) “on trumped up and faceless allegations, just to let him know that it is a sacrilege for an Igbo man to be successful.”
It wondered if the anti-graft agencies are established specifically to witch-hunt every successful Igbo man, saying that Iyiegbu is a philanthropist and young employer of labour who has been providing jobs for numerous Nigerians in different capacities.
While describing the socialite as a detribalized industrialist with great passion for youths development and independence, the group said in the statement issued on Saturday morning: “Our attention has been drawn to the news thrilling all social media platforms on the invitation of Chairman of Cubana Group of Companies, Obi Iyiegbu, by the Abuja Headquarters of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on the ground of unfounded and baseless drug dealings allegation.
“Today, we are talking about grilling the same person for 4hours in NDLEA office for interrogations, harrasment and blackmails.
“From the reports gathered on published news, we come to realize that NDLEA is predicating her suspicion that Obi Cubana received huge foreign currency transfers from three convicted drug dealers in Malaysia, Nigeria and India respectively.
“Here, we ask, when someone is convicted of a drug crime, does such conviction automatically deny him or her the lawful right of legitimately dealing in other legal transactions with people across the world?
“If those three drug convicts as alleged NDLEA paid money into Cubana’s account, does it logically imply that Obi Cubana is their crime accomplice? In the eyes of the law, what makes a transaction illegal is when the subject, context and contents of a transaction are found to have contravened a given law and are proved beyond reasonable doubts within the required standard. Only on this ground could an act be termed a crime.
“Moreover, when someone is tried and convicted of a crime by a court of competent jurisdiction, operating banks in the domain country are placed on notice, therefore how come did the same bank having known that those persons are crime convicts allowed them to have made monetary transfers of such magnitude and even facilitated the said transactions to reach their destinations?
“All were mere oral and mouthly allegations without evidences to prove Cubana’s true involvement in the said crimes. It is a pity that Igbos are on daily basis used as experimental tools by the Nigerian anti-graft agencies. There are clear and provable cases of financial fraud and funds diversions on the neck of most past governors from other parts of the country but only people from Igbo nation are being hijacked, blackmailed and ridiculed.”
The group stressed that has for over 10 years become a hot bed of terrorism and criminalities with published names of persons as sponsors through which logistics are given to those terror groups, noting that none of the sponsors have ever been invited by the Security agencies for interrogations
The statement added: “UAE few months ago published names of persons and companies used in running terrorism in the world and about 12 Nigerian citizens were mentioned but the government to the surprise of watching Nigerians kept mute and sat on the fence till date but once any successful Igbo man begins to extend help and freewill donations to the people, that instantly raises the nerves of the government and plans would be in the pipelines to bring him down. What an acidic treatment!
“This is very unfair in a country that canvasses oneness and unity. Part of the ethnic agitations was caused by this level of marginalization, intimidation and unhealthy jealousy. It reads meaning in the consciousness of Igbos that they are not fairly treated and it is industrialists from Igbo land that generate 80 percent of labour employment in the country today. So, why the acrimony and injustice against their people?
“Global Initiatives For Good Governance unequivocally reiterates that the ways and manners Igbos are treated in this country should stop. It is anti-progressive and does not show good sense of togetherness as people of one entity called Nigeria.
“We do not defend, aid or abet crimes nor do we advocate that criminals should be pampered simply because they are Igbos rather our concern is that when it comes to crime fighting, let sentiment and pretentious ethnic favourtism be buried in favour of justice for all not minding whose ox is being gorged.”
The group assured that it will not hesitate to use whatever is within the ambits of the law to defend any Igbo man or persons from other tribes of the country when their fundamental rights are being scorned, hurt and infringed upon.
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