I want to bring to the notice of the general public, the plans by the Abia State Government, especially the Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Mr Chinedum Orji, to silence me, using proxies who will make it look like a robbery attack.
My only “crime” is that I have been at the forefront of holding Abia State’s corrupt political class accountable to the people they were elected, if those elections were free and fair, and swore to serve. They are not happy that I authored a book detailing years of government failings in the state.
They plan to execute this dastardly act on November 21, 2019, between Abia and Imo states boundary on my way to the airport after my court appearance on November 20, 2019.
The alternative plan (contingency) is to abduct me and make it look like a kidnap case. My abductors will demand an exorbitant ransom that will be difficult to fulfil; my failure to meet the demand will lead to my murder.
Chinedum Orji had threatened my life in series of text messages he forwarded to my number through his mobile phone, 07088540000 which read thus: “…what I will do to you will be a child’s play to what happened between us before.” “…you will regret the day you were born.”
He further gave respiration to these threats with another test message thus: “…me and you have gone this road before. This time around, it will be well fought out. Me and you. That was sent by me. Chinedum Enyinnata Orji. In case you need evidence for your part of the fight.”
See text messages below
Following these series of threat messages, my phone was tracked, my children’s school invaded, my estate gate besieged and my under-age son forcefully arrested and detained by men who later identified themselves as police officers from Abia State.
I was declared wanted without any form of formal invitation and subsequently arrested at Flo FM Radio, Umuahia, during a live programme. I was charged with cybercrime, threatening behaviour and inciting violence. I was detained for five weeks in Afara Prison because my accusers added kidnapping to the charges to ensure I rot in jail.
It is worthy to note that the commissioner of police, CP Etim Ene Okon, rearrested me outside the court premises on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, when I appeared for the trial of the cybercrime charge, over a petition written on behalf of Senator Theodore A. Orji’s family by one Ifeanyi Umere.
They presented as evidence, the opinion articles I published on my Facebook page on May 31, 2019, and June 3, 2019 under the headline “Unveiling The Tyrant Aspiring Leadership”, wherein I published the details of the series of threat messages by Chinedum Orji and the illegal and forceful abduction of my 16-year-old son by Abia State police, led by Justus Ogar (my Facebook friend, no monitoring spirit).
These were contained in my statement on the day I was rearrested, but surprisingly, CP Okon didn’t invite his friend Chinedum Orji for questioning over the repulsive threat messages but detained me in a police cell for eight days before I proceeded to the Federal High Court to enforce my rights. The case will be coming up next month.
I have no doubt that CP Okon is biased. It’s a shame that a senior police officer would belittle his office and abuse his power in such a petty way just to satisfy one family for a reason best known to him, forgetting that I am also an elite and not a village idiot.
I, therefore, do not expect him and his men to protect me against this plan and God knows that I will never seek his protection and that of his men because it will amount to exercise in futility.
I, however, want to use this medium to inform the general public, America-based Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ), Amnesty International (of which I am a member), the European Union, the DSS, and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu to take note of these threats to my life.
Chinedum Orji and his allies should be held responsible if anything happens to me. God knows that I will never cease to visit Abia State or any part of the country because of threats to my life. If Chinedum Orji could display this vexed despotism as a speaker, I wonder what would happen if he becomes “governor”.
I am a journalist and my loyalty lies with the masses, not with any institution or individual.
The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic, Chapter 2, Section 22, empowers me to monitor government and public office holders and make them accountable to society. That I will continue to do professionally, and no amount of intimidation can deter me.
Don Norman Obinna,
MD/Editor-In-Chief, The Ream Newspapers Nigeria Limited (publishers of The Realm News).