Attack on protest leader: Abia govt, LG boss deny involvement as victim relives nightmare

Continued from last week

Not satisfied with the beating and destruction of her goods worth thousands of naira, the alleged notorious Chijioke Solomon allegedly threatened to sniff the life out of Lady Jane Ogbauta if she fails to move out of Aba and Ogbor Hill – his proclaimed domain.

It was barely 24-hours after he issued the threat that he almost executed it except for providence.

Mrs Ogbauta relived how Chijioke with his gang dressed in police uniform tried to gain access into her residence.

“After the assault on Thursday, I called a press conference on Friday. Then on Sunday at about 11 pm, some men dressed in police uniform came to my house and started knocking hard on my gate.”

“My girl went to check but quickly came to inform me that some strange looking police officers were at the gate. I instructed her not to open the gate.

“When I took a closer look at them, I noticed that there were no police identification badges on their uniforms. My hunch told me that they were not policemen then, I raised the alarm.

“How they disappeared was inexplicable.”

Some residents who spoke to our reporter said that Chijioke works for Aba North T. C. Chairman, Barrister Charles Esonu. They alleged that he is a notorious political gangster who goes about terrorizing people with a gun alongside his members.

We learnt that he was released from the prison last year after spending three-years for the alleged kidnapping of Mr Uzo Azubuike’s child in connivance with his driver. All efforts to speak to the said Chijioke was unsuccessful as he refused to pick our calls.

However, a man who identified himself as Frank and claimed to be his personal assistant said the story we heard about the attack on Lady Jane was a “fantasy”. He said Chijioke was in a meeting.

When contacted, the Aba North T. C. Chairman denied ever knowing the said Chijioke.

He said hoodlums were fond of using a known politicians’ name to commit atrocities.

“Believe me, I don’t know the said Chijioke, I may know him by face, but I did not send him to attack anybody. I am a lawyer and law-abiding also, therefore, the law will be allowed to take its just course if the security agencies come after him,” he said.

He further said that the only role he played was calling the police to ascertain if the protesters got clearance before embarking on the protest.

“The police said they were not aware and to my knowledge, it was the police that dispatched the protesters. That is all I know and also my only involvement. Later on, I saw that a supportive protest was taking place, and I issued a press statement.”

Contrary to the claim by the government that the opposition sponsored her, Mrs Ogbauta said the unavoidable death of one of her pregnant members triggered the protest.

She narrated thus: “It happened in August 2019. One of my women who lived inside Ngwa road called me around midnight that she was bleeding and that the maternity she went to could not handle her case anymore.

“I told her that I was coming to take her to another good hospital. On getting to Ngwa road, there was no road for motorcycles to pass let alone cars. I had to follow School road by Mosque to access Ngwa road.

“You can imagine the kind of pain a woman who was bleeding went through that night riding in the husband’s keke that was used to bring her to where I parked waiting for them.

“She died on our way to the teaching hospital.

“My car sump pump got broken on the road to Abia State University Teaching Hospital.

“I was devastated to see a 28-year-old woman die,” she said.

She wants the government to intervene and ensure the safety of her life and the women who protested the deplorable condition of Aba roads that triggered the protest.

When asked to explain why the Abia State Government had remained silent over the attacks on Mrs Ogbauta by some political thugs, the Commissioner for Information, Mr John Okiyi Kalu said it was because she had already made a complaint to the police.

“Abia State government is not the police; we expect the police to go for the arrest.

“She took the right step by reporting to the police.

The government would have compelled police to arrest but she has done that already so police should be allowed to do their job.

“Government can never support anybody to beat up anyone especially a woman for exercising her right.

“That is not the proper way to do something because it will mean that we are encouraging anarchy,” he said.

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