Father Of Man Arrested Over Alleged Plot To Kidnap Enugu State Governor Cries Out

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Mister Linus Okeke is a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP. He was once the Enugu State Police command Bandmaster, who played the national anthem at the swearing in of Enugu State governor, Sullivan Chime about eight years ago. Ironically, barely few weeks to May 29, when the governor would be taking his exit, Okeke and his wife, a teacher at a private primary school are presently in tears.

According to Vanguard, their agony followed the incarceration of one of their children in Enugu prisons, over what they described as using a sledge hammer to kill an ant. He wondered that what could ordinarily at most have attracted warning had been made a capital offence.

According to him,

 “my son, Anthony Okeke who works as a sound engineer with the Winners Chapel Church headquarters, Presidential Road, Enugu was arrested, beaten to a state of stupour and detained with his vehicle for six days at the Anti-kidnapping Base, Enugu before he was charged for attempting to kidnap the Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime.”

The search for his son took him from one police station to another until they were reliably informed that Anthony was initially detained at the Police Anti Kidnapping Base.

“I then rushed to the Base in Enugu to inquire about him but the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, Sergeant Solomon Jacob informed me that Anthony was brought to them by policemen led by ASP Nnaedozie, attached to the Enugu State Government House on the allegation that they attempted stopping his car but he overtook the governors convoy and he was arrested.’’

Anthony’s embattled father had also sent a petition to the Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network, CRRAN, a rights group based in Enugu, asking for justice.

Investigation by South East Voice showed that, Anthony was arrested by the security details of the governor for breaking into Chime’s convoy with his vehicle around 11.30pm on February 22, 2015. He was thereafter arraigned before a magistrate court in Enugu on a one-count charge which read:

“That you, Anthony Okeke, male, 31, on February 22, 2015 at about 2340 hours, night time along Ogui Road by Fire Service Office, GRA, Enugu, Enugu North magisterial district suspected to be armed with dangerous weapon/weapons did attempt to kidnap the Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency, Sullivan Iheanacho Chime and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 (3) of the Criminal Code, Cap 30 Vol. 11 Laws of Enugu State of Nigeria 2004 as amended in 2009”.

However, President of the CRRAN, Mr. Olu Omotayo has questioned the rationale behind the alleged kidnap charge. According to him,

 “the big question now is who gave the order that Anthony Okeke be charged for attempt to kidnap the governor of Enugu State just because he overtook his convoy at night? “Our investigationrevealed that the governor was just driving around that Sunday night around 11.40 pm, in an unmarked vehicle followed by about four other unmarked vehicles, without the normal siren or fanfare that normally heralded his movement.

“It was reported that Anthony who had just dropped a friend in front of the Fire Service Station, by Otigba Junction, Enugu, entered the road in front of one of the security vehicles following the governor and immediately volleys of gunshots were fired that busted his vehicle tyres.
“We condemn the arrest, torture and continued detention of citizen Anthony Okeke on a frame up charge of attempt to kidnap the Enugu State governor. He has not committed any offence known to the law by overtaking the governors’ convoy at night.
This is oppression by those governing the state; it is unacceptable in any decent and normal society. This is the rule of the jungle typified.
“We demand his immediate release and also demand for the release of his personal effects and vehicle lying at the premises of the Nigeria Police, anti Kidnapping Base, Enugu,” Omotayo added.

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