By Akpokona Omafuaire
WARRI—THE Commercial Motorcycles and Tricycles Operators Association, COMTOA, has denied the claim by the Executive Director, Centre for the Vulnerable and Underprivileged, CENTREP, and human rights activist, Oghenejabor Ikimi (Esq.) that the association was plotting to eliminate him because of his involvement in a court case against the association.
Ikimi, a lawyer, raised alard in a petition to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, published on our last edition, that officials of the association sent assassins after him.
Briefing reporters in Warri, state treasurer of the association, Kingsley Okeoghene, said: “We are reacting to the publication of Barrister Oghenejabor Ikimi, who has alleged that members of this union intend to eliminate him. I want to first say that it is complete falsehood. Members of this great union have no reason to think of harming anybody, not to talk of the person of Barrister Oghenejiabor Ikimi.
Ikimi wants to pull us down: “Since 2005, he has been after the organization in a bid to somersault the union, but because of the legal system we have in this country, we have always been victorious.
“It is obvious that he has been on a mission to uproot this union. It is obvious that Ikimi wants to mislead the public because of some cases he is handling for his clients against COMTOA. There has never been anytime we planned to assassinate anybody, including Oghenejiabor Ikimi, the allegation is spurious, baseless and a figment of imagination of the claimant,” he said.
On the purported hide and seek between the association and EFCC, Okeoghene said that it was true that some members of the executive were invited by EFCC for questioning over a petition by Ikimi, adding that they were questioned and released almost immediately.
Not running from EFCC: Also speaking, Public Relations Officer, COMTOA, Ochuko Johnson, debunked the claim that members of the union were in hiding because of probable possible arrest, saying: “We decided to hold this press briefing in our Warri branch office to prove to the world that we are operating in our various offices and anyone that wants to see us should come and meet us. We had already taken steps to challenge the freezing of the union’s accounts by EFCC without proper procedure; we are also challenging the mode of invitations of our members by them.”