Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called for a dispassionate investigation into the allegations of threats and unlawful detention involving prominent Anambra businessman and politician Emeka Offor.
The human rights advocacy group, in a statement released on Sunday, signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, urged the Attorney General of the Federal (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, to ascertain the veracity of the claims made by Ifeanyi Ejiofor and Bonny Okonkwo against Emeka Offor.
HURIWA’s call follows allegations made by human rights activist and lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, against Offor for allegedly plotting to assassinate him. Ejiofor, who is known for his role as the legal representative of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, claimed that it has been meticulously planned, with execution awaiting a suitable opportunity.
Ejiofor said the conflict between him and Offor stemmed from his challenge to Emeka Offor regarding the businessman’s alleged atrocities in Orafite in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State. Both Ejiofor and Offor hail from Orafite. Kanu’s lawyer alleged that he was being targeted by Offor for challenging the businessman’s alleged wrongdoings in their hometown.
The human rights lawyer further accused Offor of being behind the burning down of his house and neighborhood, as well as the killing of his personal assistant.
In a statement titled “Plots to Assassinate Me leaked!” Ejiofor alleged that Offor had paid executioners and equipped them with the necessary weapons to carry out the act.
Ejiofor also petitioned the Anambra State Government, and relevant security agencies such as the Nigeria Police Force, and Department of State Services (DSS), urging them to take the threat seriously.
Also, a South Africa-based activist Bonny Okonkwo filed a Fundamental Human Rights enforcement suit against the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, and Emeka Offor, among others for alleged unlawful arrest and detention.
Okonkwo claimed to have been targeted for criticizing Emeka Offor in a media publication.
“Okonkwo, through his lawyer Sebastine Ifeanyi Okonkwo, demanded compensation of N50 million from the police for his alleged unlawful detention. The activist sought a court order restraining the police and its agents from further infringing on his liberty. Additionally, he requested an immediate release from police custody or production in court for any committed offense,” HURIWA statement recalled.
HURIWA urged the AGF and other relevant authorities to ensure a fair and transparent inquiry into the gravity of the allegations made by both Ejiofor and Okonkwo.
The human rights group recommended that the investigation should focus on determining the credibility of the alleged assassination plot against Ifeanyi Ejiofor and the circumstances surrounding the arrest and detention of Bonny Okonkwo. The organisation emphasized the importance of protecting the fundamental rights of individuals, regardless of their status or influence in society.
HURIWA further called for a review of the number of security details assigned to Emeka Offor, given the serious allegations against him. While acknowledging the need for security measures. It stressed the importance of ensuring that such measures are proportionate and do not infringe on the rights of other citizens. Hence, the association advised a scaling down of the security details attached to Emeka Offor to maintain a balance between security concerns and individual freedoms.
While acknowledging the appeal made by Bonny Okonkwo’s counsel to the Vice President, Kashim Shetima, and the IGP, Kayode Egbetokun, for the immediate release of the detainee. HURIWA urged the relevant authorities to act promptly and impartially in addressing these concerns, ensuring that justice is served, and the rule of law upheld.
HURIWA underscored the importance of upholding human rights and the rule of law in any society.
“The allegations made by Ifeanyi Ejiofor and Bonny Okonkwo are serious and should be thoroughly investigated to ensure justice, transparency, and accountability prevail. We call on all stakeholders, including the judiciary, to play their roles in upholding the principles of justice and protecting the rights of every citizen”, HURIWA concluded.