Posted by News Express | 6 June 2017 | 2,165 times
Governor Williie Obiano of Anambra State and Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, have denied the reported gift of two SUV cars and $50,000 cash by the former to the latter.
Their spokesmen made the denial while reacting to the condemnation of the alleged gift by the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety).
A statement issued on Monday by Intersociety gave details of the exchange between them. The statement was signed by Intersociety Board Chairman Emeka Umeagbalasi, Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Programme, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq., and Head, Campaign & Publicity Department, Florence C. Akubilo, Esq. It reads:
“The leadership of Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) had early morning of today, being 5th June 2017 received and have telephone conversations with the lead-counsel to Citizen Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB. Similar telephone call was received earlier today from the Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Political & War Veterans Affairs, Mr. Arinze Awogu. We also received a number of calls between yesterday and today from some citizens who identified themselves as concerned members of IPOB.
“The centrality of the calls bordered on a recent online statement published by the 247UReports, owned by Mr. Ikenna Ezenekwe, alleging that Governor Williie Obiano made a gift of 2 SUV cars and cash of $50,000 to the IPOB leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu through his distant relative, named Mr. Primus Odili and Mr. Nnamdi Kanu accepted the car and cash gift. The link to the online story is here: https://247ureports.com/2017/05/27/nnamdi-kanu-receives-50000-and-two-suvs-from-obiano/. The jeeps and cash, according to Ezenekwe’s 247UReports of 27th May 2017, “were delivered to Citizen Kanu shortly after his conditional freedom from prison by one Primus Odili, said to be Gov Obiano’s distant relative”.
“It was on account of worries and concerns expressed by members of the Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs) and other members of the public concerning the issue and urgent need for the leadership of IPOB and Citizen Nnamdi Kanu to publicly respond and clear their names that prompted our Coalition’s public statement of 2nd June 2017 in which other issues of critical public importance as regards human rights issues of the nonviolent pro Biafra campaigns as well as Igbo socio-political reawakening were critically assessed and discussed.
“We have also in the said Coalition’s statement of ours firmly and clearly stated and pointed out too that there is nothing wrong in giving and receiving plain and charitable gifts from a public office holder or a wealthy philanthropist for the advancement of a nonviolent social struggle such as Biafra self determination campaigns, but a lot is morally wrong and socially abominable when such gifts are seen or perceived as politically motivated, ill conceived or evidentially and atrociously escapist.
“Apart from disclosing the primary source where the said publication was made (247UReports), we also expressed worry as why the IPOB has not formally responded or reacted to the said publication considering its sensitivity since it was published. Our said statement was also never made judgmental or conclusive but cautionary and advisory which brought about the repetitive use of “if it is true…”
“What Obiano Government Told Us Today: The referenced phone conversation we had with Mr. Arinze Awogu (SSA to Gov Obiano on Political & Veterans Matters) was very friendly and cordial. He further stated the Governor’s position as follows: that Governor Obiano never made such alleged offer or sent across such gifts (2 SUV cars and cash of $50,000) to Citizen Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB, that the said story as published by the 247UReports and its publisher-Ikenna Ezenekwe was false and sponsored by the opposition.
“What Nnamdi Kanu’s Lawyer (Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor) Told Us: In our referenced phone conversation with Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB’s lawyer, he said as follows: That Nnamdi Kanu said he did not receive any gift or take 2 SUV cars and cash of $50,000 from Governor Willie Obiano through him or his aide or agent and that Nnamdi Kanu is deeply worried over the allegation.
“What We Agreed With Obiano Government & Nnamdi Kanu’s Lawyer: Intersociety had during the two phone conversations expressed its profound gratitude respectively to the duo for reaching out or being reached out. Intersociety further regretted the negative publicity and image so generated, which informed its resolve to bring same to the public attention of the duo for the purpose of debunking same. It also advised the duo to react or response promptly or timely whenever such mischief making publication is planted by Igbo enemies to demonize those genuinely involved in Igbo cause.
“Intersociety respectively promised to reflect publicly what transpired between it and the duo in the spirit of fairness and uprightness. This statement of ours, on behalf of Intersociety and our coalition (SBCHROs), is therefore in fulfillment of our promise. Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB through Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor and the Governor of Anambra State through Mr. Arinze Awogu were further advised to follow up this statement by publicly telling the whole world what they told us by issuing formal statements of clarification and exoneration or otherwise so as to lay the issue to rest.
“Finally, while we have repeatedly stated that in the course of our human rights, democracy and good governance and public accountability advocacy, we hold nothing personal against person or group of persons or a group or groups including Nnamdi and his IPOB and the present Government of Anambra State; but we hold a lot against them as per assessment and measurement of their public conducts and accountability. They must at all times be held to account for their conducts.
“That is to say that neither Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB nor the present Government of Anambra State is above our advocacy scrutiny including constructive criticism, condemnation or commendation where and when necessary. Even despite the infallibility of God, a question like God Why is periodically asked by mere mortals.
“We are also not unaware of attempts by some overzealous IPOB members to blackmail and scandalize Intersociety simply because we demanded that Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB should come clean and clear their names publicly over the publication of the 247UReports, dated 27th May 2017. We are following and analyzing all its newly launched unprovoked and unwarranted social media attacks and will response where necessary and ignore and trash where necessary.
“Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB must be aware that our advocacy activities are for all members of the human family and the society and above any individual or group. We are conscious, from day one, of the patterns and trends of IPOB activities including its smear campaigns against its constructive critics and culture of intolerance to constructive criticism and conduct accountability.
“We are also very mindful of our relationship with its local and int’l leaderships or dealings which was why we strictly restricted ourselves to human rights and advocacy activities. Any dealing we have had with IPOB, from the beginning, is mindfully and consciously recorded and documented and we are ready at all times to defend and clear ourselves. Smear campaign has limits and does not succeed against every person or group, especially if such group or person lives above board at all times.
“We assure our teeming friends, well wishers and supporters in closed and open quarters or circles of the intactness and impeccability of our integrity and character. We are proudly responsible at all times for our actions, conducts and accountability.
“The general public should be lest assured that we have no regrets in all our human rights oriented advocacy activities and roles particularly those geared towards checkmating the murderous and atrocious conducts of the Nigerian security forces against the innocent and defenseless pro Biafra campaigners or activists in Nigeria or any part thereof. Our advocacy roles regarding the human rights contents of the nonviolent pro Biafra campaigns in Nigeria or any part thereof, shall at all time remain sacrosanct and irrevocable.”
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