By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU – Ohanaeze Ndigbo has demanded an apology from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for the agency’s humiliation of the Chairman of Innoson Group of Companies, Chief Innocent Chukwuma and family.
Ohanaeze also asked the federal government and its agencies to desist from situations that would suggest it is witch-hunting a particular ethnic group in Nigeria.
In condemning the EFCC action which it described as barbaric, the apex Igbo body urged the federal government to bring those involved in the show of shame to book.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo said it strongly feels that entrepreneurs like Chief Chukwuma should be encouraged and not ridiculed in the manner he was treated by the EFCC.
In statement by the President of Enugu state chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Chiedozie Ogbonnia said “We wish to affirm that the Igbo are genuine and committed partners in the Nigerian project and government must avoid situations that would suggest it is witch-hunting a particular ethnic group.
“We demand, therefore, a public apology from the EFCC to Chief Chukwuma and indeed Nigerians.”
Ogbonnia said the EFCC exhibited show of brutality, shame and absolute display of lawlessness against the automobile manufacturer.
The statement reads in part: “The illegal arrest of Chief Chukwuma even in the face of weighty and incriminating evidence against a bank, is condemnable in all its ramifications.
“Even more condemnable is the application of brute force by the operatives against the wife of Chief Chukwuma who was not the target of the operatives. That the operatives could display such brutality against a woman indicates the level of bestiality in the Nigerian society.
“Chief Innocent Chukwuma is a genuine entrepreneur who has, through a dint of hard work, built up a business empire that has offered employment to thousands on Nigerian youths.
“The barbarity displayed by the operatives of the EFCC against Chief Chukwuma has reinforced the assumption that he was singled out for humiliation for no other reason than his capacity to succeed in a system that has limited Igbo enterprise for decades.
“It has also cast a dark and damnable pall over the pretensions of the government at fighting corruption, which many Nigerians perceive as manifestly selective.”