By Ifeoma Okeke (Umunna TV)
Nigerians have reacted to the alleged leaking of a video showing a former Governor of Anambra state, Chief Willie Obiano inside what appears to be an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detention facility. In the said video, Chief Obiano was looking calm and relaxed in a casual t-shirt and shorts, as he sipped from a bottle of water with his leg crossed having a discussion with his former Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Protocol Officer, Uzu Okagbue.
Chief Obiano who was arrested by the anti-graft agency on Thursday, 17th March, 2022 at the Murtala Muhammed International airport, Lagos while trying to board a flight to Houston to keep his Doctors’ appointments has been in EFCC detention since then. He was transferred to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city the next day for interrogation.
However, there have been concerns that Chief Obiano’s detention is politically motivated, and an act of witch-hunting. Former Anambra Central Senator, and former national Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, had in a media chat at the 80th birthday celebration of Prof. Uzodinma Iweala in Enugu over the weekend said;
“Arrest of Obiano is not new in Nigeria. Most governors, when they leave office, EFCC will swarm on them. He must be given the right to be heard. We don’t know why they arrested him. But I’m sure when they listen to him, he will be able to defend himself.
“One thing I keep telling people is that former governor, Obiano did wonderfully well with Anambra money. He used our money well to the displeasure of those in the opposition. They don’t want to accept it. “A governor who built an international airport, got it commissioned and working. Planes are coming in there and going and you are still looking for your money. He also built an international conference centre. All these projects he didn’t build with sand.
“Apart from meeting the other obligations of running the government, meeting the needs of the people, paying workers salaries, he did so much for Anambra State. That is why we have to be calm to allow the EFCC to finish their job. But I’m confident that Obiano will defend himself”.
Speaking on the alleged leaking of Chief Obiano’s video while in EFCC detention, Amb. Innocent Nduanya, a youth leader said; “Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, this video is unprofessional of you and a proof of your collaboration with those who conspired with you to shame Akpokuedike Aguleri”.
On his part, Facebook user, Odaa Opuo said, “Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, who is this your officer that took this video of the immediate past governor of Anambra State and shared it on social media?
The officer is making a mockery of your organization. He should be fished out and sanctioned accordingly. The video clearly shows that something is wrong somewhere. I don’t want to believe that your organization is playing a script from somebody.
The video depicts that the organization is blackmailing Obiano for no just cause. He is under investigation and should be handled professionally. This video is the most uncharitable post I have seen in recent years. This is a clear indication that there is a serious conspiracy and propaganda against Obiano. The person that took this video must be an officer of EFCC and shared it. Is this right for an officer to do this? It shows that they are compromised. It shows that Willie might not get fair hearing but the paramount thing is that we are all Nigerians. Akpokuodike will come out strong”.
Odi Henry said; “This is so disrespectful. Another reason we feel bad as Igbos. Why release this video? Continuing, he quoted from ‘How Media Trial Affects Suspects, Cases’ – The legal community has continued to criticize the practice of media pre-trial of suspects by law enforcement agencies without commensurate successful prosecution in court. Besides the pronouncements of the judiciary, non-governmental organisations and legal experts have described the practice as a violation of the constitutionally-guaranted fundamental rights of the suspects and abridgment on the principle of fair trial”.
Popular Catholic Reverend Father, Emmauel Obimma, known as Ebube Muonso called on the federal government of Nigeria to release Chief Obiano. In a viral video, he remarked; “If Willie Obiano belonged to the APC, he wouldn’t have been arrested”
Ekwegbalu Iyke Ifeanyi said; “Muhammadu Buhari Sir, is it not obvious that someone is using EFCC to cajole our Ex- governor?”
Uche Nworah said; “How many other persons in EFCC detention have we seen their videos in EFCC detention facility? This is just sad the attempt to humiliate former Governor Obiano. This video may even swing public opinion in his favour. I am glad to also observe that former Governor Obiano is looking calm in the video despite all the media trials. It’s well”.
Charles Ifeanyi Okolo said; “Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, this video is unprofessional, unethical for you to show video of a suspect who is yet to be convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction. This is a proof of your collaboration with those who conspired with you to shame Akpokuedike Aguleri ,hence a political witch-hunt”.
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