‘I Was Arrested For An Alleged Insult To Buhari’ – APGA Chairman...

‘I Was Arrested For An Alleged Insult To Buhari’ – APGA Chairman Victor Umeh Says

By Wires | The Trent on March 5, 2016
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Victor Umeh, Nkem Okeke, Senate, Anambra
Former APGA Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh

Former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Al­liance (APGA) and the party’s candidate in the rescheduled Anam­bra Central senatorial election, Chief Victor Umeh, returned from Abuja yesterday after spending 24 hours in the custody of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) say­ing the DSS accused him of insult­ing President Muhammadu Buhari.

Umeh, who was arrested and tak­en to Abuja on Thursday, returned to Awka yesterday into the waiting hands of thousands of party support­ers. He however denied the charges.

Umeh narrated how on Wednes­day, he got a text message from the State Director of State Security Ser­vice (SSS), Anambra State, inviting him for a meeting, unknown to him, they were laying ambush for him.

Umeh scheduled the meeting for Thursday after a trip to Enugu to witness the judgment in the case brought by his former opponent in the sena­torial election, Chief Mrs Uche Ek­wunife in which she sought to get the Court of Appeal reverse itself in the voiding of her election and disquali­fication from re-contesting.

However, according to Umeh, as early as 7am on Thursday, he got a follow-up invitation from the same director of SSS, Anambra State com­mand, informing him that the meet­ing was urgent.

When he got to the state securi­ty office, and after being seated for a while, a man walked in and the di­rector pointed at Umeh saying “that is him”.

Immediately, the director’s guest informed Umeh that he would be tak­en to Abuja to answer to some charg­es.

Umeh, however, said when he re­quested that his driver get home and bring his medications, they obliged.
But as soon as his medications were brought in, he was whisked away. He got signs that their mis­sion was serious when he came out to board his vehicle only to see fierce-looking security men all wielding automatic rifles. He was then sand­wiched in between two operatives at the back seat of a white pick-up van and they drove to Abuja.

Umeh, nevertheless, said the op­eratives were friendly with him oblig­ing him a bottle of water when he re­quested for one and some sweets which they bought for him on re­quest.

They got to Abuja at about 7:15 pm and he was interrogated at about 10pm.

Umeh said he was startled that all the allegations leveled against him border on treason.

Umeh’s words: “When the head of interrogation took me to the office, he brought a red file and said that while on my campaign, they had reports that I insulted the President and in­cited the youths. They said they got report that if I get to the Senate, I will unite the youths of Southeast and Ni­ger Delta and wage war against the country. That there was an issue con­cerning Fulani cattle herdsmen”.

Umeh said he denied all the alle­gations informing them that he cam­paigned in the open; that he never disparaged Mr President, because he was not running for the Presidency.

“But I told them that I opposed the use of arms to quell protests and fight Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB),” he said.

After the interrogation, according to him, when he was taken to the Di­rector General, he told him that they invited him because they hold him in high esteem and that if the allegations against him were true, then there will be trouble.

Umeh said after the interroga­tion, they had a useful chat on the need to ensure peace in the country.

Umeh said he was happy and “thanked God that the plans of the desperadoes did not materialize”.

According to him, as early as 10am on Thursday, the Court of Ap­peal sitting in Enugu had dismissed
Ekwunife’s suit and if the rerun had been held today, March 5, he would have had a smooth sail, though that has been put off to another day.

He also thanked Governor Wil­lie Obiano who had within the time he was at the state headquarters, tel­ephoned the Director-General to vouch for his integrity.

What is more, he arrived at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu to meet a sea of APGA sup­porters led by the state chairman, Sir Norbert Obi.

On a lighter note, Umeh said he was somehow happy to be at the SSS office “because every time I passed on my way to Asokoro, I used to see the imposing headquarters of the SSS and I wondered how the inside would be. This is my first time of get­ting into that building.”

Meanwhile, former Anambra State governor, Mr Peter Obi has distanced himself from the travails of the APGA candidate saying that he does not have a hand in Umeh’s arrest. Obi was reacting to allega­tions that he wrote a petition against Umeh.

Obi, who spoke through his me­dia aide, Mr Valentine Obienyem, a lawyer, pleaded with Chief Umeh to leave his boss alone. “I read the news credited to Mr Stan Okeke that Mr Peter Obi was behind the arrest of Chief Victor Umeh. Let me state for the avoidance of doubt that Mr Peter Obi has not, and is not contemplat­ing writing any petition against any­body. He did not do so as a governor, and could not have started doing so now,” he said.

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