By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
The former governor of Imo state and Senator representing Imo West senatorial district, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday called on the Imo state commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, to release two of his political allies, Mr Ojukwu Ukonu and Mr Casmir Ugbo, who were arrested by the Anti-kidnapping department of the police.
Okorocha made this statement in Owerri, through his Special Adviser on Media, Sam Onwuemeodo.
The Senator said that he called for their release since their offences have not been made public.
According to the former governor, “About two days ago, two men, Mr Ojukwu Ukonu and Mr Casmir Ugbo were arrested by Policemen from the Anti-Kidnapping Department, Police Headquarters, Owerri, led by the O/C of that Department. The Policemen had stormed the house of Mr Ukonu and arrested him after they had searched his house and nothing was found. They had also detained the man since then.
“The Squad also stormed the house of Mr Casmir Ugbo, searched his house and nothing was found. He was not around when they came. They arrested the wife. The man came back and reported himself. They also arrested the man, detained both the man and the wife. With the children left alone at home.
“As we write, the two men have not been told the offence or the offences they had committed for which they were arrested and detained. The two men have been members of Okorocha’s larger political family. And that’s the crux of our concern with regard to the arrest.
“At the inception of the attacks in Imo, by both the unknown and known gunmen, there were concerted efforts to link Senator Rochas Okorocha to such unfortunate attacks, even when the whole world knew that it was not true.
“And since then, Okorocha and those working with him, have not been linked, directly or indirectly with the Owerri attacks. And for the two men in question, to now be arrested by the Anti-kidnapping Squad is what we have been finding difficult to reconcile. And that is the reason for this alarm.
“Our concern or suspicion has remained that, those desperate to link or associate Okorocha with the Owerri attacks, have not relented. They are still trying to justify their false claim. So, for us, the arrest of these two men was not unconnected with the heightened effort to link Okorocha and his people to the attacks in the State.”
“The two men are highly responsible men with families. We have not been told what warranted their arrest. And we want the anti-kidnapping department that arrested them to tell the world why they arrested the two men. But we know and we are sure, that they never committed any offence.
“We, therefore, appeal to the Commissioner of Police in the State, to order for the release of the two men. We know that at a time like the one we are into today, some people would hide under it to undo others which is very unpatriotic and unadvisable. We believe strongly that the Commissioner of Police, would not allow innocent people to suffer or to be punished for an offence or offences they never committed,” Okorocha said.