Pamela, Mr. Ifejoku and Ned Nwoko

By Arogbonlo Israel

Arrest was a directive from HQ — Police

Ned has no hand in his arrest — Aide

Okey Ifejoku, a community leader in Idumuje-Ugboko village in Delta State has been in police detention since March 26.

A situation that has stirred serious agitations on social media in recent times as many keep wondering why the President of the Idumuje-Ugboko Development Union (IUDU) is being held for so long without trial.

How the social media crusade started

Twitter user, @pa_melanin (Pamela Ifejoku) has initiated the hashtag #freeOkeyIfejoku over the detention of her father, Okey Ifejoku and 9 other community leaders of Idumeje Ugboko village in Delta state for years, allegedly on the order of former House of Representatives member, Ned Nwoko.

Vanguard gathered that Ifejoku who is the elected President-General of IUDU was arrested by the Delta State Police Command on the alleged order of Nwoko in 2017.

The former lawmaker had accused him of sponsoring the indigenes of Aniocha North Local Government Area to protest against him and kick against his bid to forcefully acquire additional 90 hectares of land from an area earmarked for all indigenes of the community.

Pamela Ifejoku, in a viral video on her page to help demand freedom for her father, accused Nwoko and the police of malicious destruction of property, disobedience to the order of the court, assault occasioning harm, abuse of public office, unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace.

‘Ned Nwoko not party to the matter’

Reacting, Ned Nwoko through his media aide, Ifetayo Adeniyi, denied all the allegations levied against him claiming “he has paid about 200million in compensation as mandated according to the MoU that were signed and ceded 40% equity to the community on the income of Star University”.

“It was all lies. Ned is neither a complainant nor defendant in any way to the matter. It was the victims of the act of terrorism and arson that were committed led by the lady’s father in 2017. The victims (Iyese of Idumuje kingdom and others) with Nigeria Human Rights Commission instituted the case and those that were involved were arrested and charged to court.”

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“Ned has paid about 200million in compensation as mandated according to the MoU that were signed and ceded 40% equity to the community on the income of Star University (No rich man will do that to his community, I stand to be corrected). The lady, her parents and Prince Nonso are just clout chasing.

“She is not staying in the village so I will advise her to easily go to the village, plead with Iyese (the prime Minister of Idumuje) and other victims to drop the case or plead for out of court settlement. Once again sir, Ned is neither a complainant nor defendant to the case that led to the trial of Ifejokwu and others,” Adeniyi told Vanguard.

Detainee ‘ll be arrainged soon – Police 

When contacted on telephone, a police source at the State CID, Okpanam road, Asaba, who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that the suspect (Mr. Ifejoku) and 9 others are in their custody and would be arraigned as soon as court resumes hearing.

When asked who ordered the detainment of Mr. Ifejoku, the source claimed it was a directive from the police headquarters, Abuja.

“The case is in Abuja. They (Mr. Ifejoku and others) were only bought here for detention only. So, it’s an Abuja case. They want them to be prosecuted here in Asaba pending when court resumes hearing,” he said.

All efforts to reach the Public Relations Officer at police headquaters, Abuja proved abortive as of the time of filing this report.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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