Nwosu’s gangster-like arrest
mo State Governor Hope Uzodinma and his predecessor, Senator Rochas Okorocha who currently represents Imo East constituency in the Senate, are overpersonalising governance processes in their troubled state with the bitter political feuding raging between them. They thereby perennially stoke tension in the state that is already badly hobbled by insecurity – perhaps the worst of its kind in the Southeast. Shame!
It was this political feuding that characterised the narratives about purported arrest last Sunday of the Action Alliance (AA) Imo governorship candidate in the 2019 poll and son-in-law to Okorocha, Mr. Uche Nwosu. Armed policemen had stormed St Peter’s Anglican Church, Eziama Obieri in Nkwerre council area while a worship service was underway and dragged Nwosu off amid intermittent firing of gunshots in the air, sending some congregants cowering in fear while others stampeded for safety. The service was reported to be a thanksgiving service Nwosu was attending after burying his mother two days earlier. The grossly crude manner of the assault made people think it was a kidnap, but the police later confirmed it was an arrest carried out by its personnel. Dispassionately speaking, it was shocking the police could own up to that being its official act.
Rather than address the curious procedure of the arrest, however, the camps of Governor Uzodinma and Senator Okorocha lunged at each other with accusations of vengeful complicity. Okorocha accused the state governor of having instigated the arrest of Nwosu out of sheer vendetta against him and his household, though he also acknowledged having been told Police Inspector-General Alkali Baba ordered the clampdown. In its response, the Uzodinma administration represented by Information and Strategy Commissioner Declan Emelumba accused Okorocha of raising false alarm, saying he was panicky because of guilty conscience. “He should allow the police to do their job. Okorocha should know that police have the right to arrest anybody,” the commissioner added.
But what manner of arrest was that whereby armed policemen barged into a church service and dragged off a worshipper by the scruff of the collar, firing wild shots as they made off with their quarry. And from indications, not that the alleged guilt was overly severe because Nwosu secured bail same day. Following his release, he said he never received prior invitation from the police that he could be accused of having spurned, and neither was the church assault preceded by formal service of an arrest warrant. It was pedestrian that Okorocha reduced the entire incident to vengeful assault on his family, and it was disgraceful that the state government that should be keen on due process and societal decency celebrated the incident as policemen doing their job. If the IGP truly ordered that arrest in the manner it was executed, he owes this country an apology; and if he didn’t, the executors of the purported arrest should be pulled in and reprimanded for indiscipline by the police force.