The Governor of Imo state, Ikedi Ohakim, has been accused of flogging Mr. Ikenna Samuelson severally with horsewhip popularly referred to as koboko. The governor was said to have ordered the arrest of Samuelson who was taken to his office by his security aides over a petition he wrote against Ohakim
Samuelson allegedly wrote several petitions to the state House of Assembly asking the law makers to probe the governor and his administration over alleged fraud.
Samuelson was also said to have pasted the petitions on the internet, an action which the governor felt disgraced him.
Samuelson said the governor Ohakim brought out the horse whip immediately the victim was brought into the office and started thrashing him for over 120 times in the presence of his Chief Security Officer, who also pointed a gun at him.
In an e-mail to Mr. Keyamo to help him fight the injustice, Samuelson narrated how he was molested by the governor.
Samuelson said immediately he was ushered into the governor’s office, “the door was locked leaving me only with Ohakim and his CSO in the office. The CSO pointed his gun at me.
“Ikedi Ohakim on his own shouted at me to pull off my clothes completely. At that point I knew that I was in danger, so I played along. As I was removing my clothes, Ohakim stood up from the office chair and came to me and forcefully removed my clothes.
“Another young man of about 33yrs wearing an ash coloured suit came into the Governor’s office to assist Ikedi Ohakim completely remove my clothes. I became completely naked before Ikedi Ohakim in the office of the Governor.”
Samuelson further claimed that the governor thereafter went to his table and brought out the horsewhip after hitting him several times with his hands and legs and threatening to kill him.
“Ikedi Ohakim flogged, flogged and flogged me ruthlessly, heartlessly and without mercy. He kicked me several times without mercy.
“The pain was much. I cried, cried and called on Almighty God to come to my rescue. I must have received well over 120 strokes of koboko.
“My blood completely stained the rug in the Governor’s office. I was in pains. I saw hell with my two eyes.
“Ikedi Ohakim continued to flog me. His brother Emma Ohakim walked in and said ‘Chineke, His Excellency, His Excellency’.
“Ikedi Ohakim said to his brother ‘Emma, this is Ikenna Samuelson. I will kill him today’. Emma simply left the office.”
He said when the pains became unbearable, he grabbed Ikedi Ohakim’s legs and pleaded with him reminding the governor that they were in-laws.
“He then shifted a chair and sat down with the koboko still in his hands,” he said adding that the governor started to shout, “Samuelson you have disgraced me in this country. You have finished me. I will kill you and nothing would happen.”
He claimed that the governor asked him to mention the names of his sponsors, which he denied having.
Samuelson said he was later handed over to the state Commissioner of Police and the state Director of the State Security Service.
In a letter sent to the governor by Mr. Keyamo, the lawyer threatened to use every legal means possible to ensure that justice was done.
Keyamo said: “I know it is so convenient for politicians like you to quickly point to ‘political enemies’ when you are publicly engaged on thorny issues.
“But you cannot bath with petrol and stay close to fire when your enemies are around. In other words, you also have a duty to act decently and in tandem with the laws of the land so as not to arm your political opponents.
“Chief Ikedi Ohakim, you may think that because you enjoy immunity under the constitution, you may get away with this kind of atrocity.
“But your immunity is only temporary. And there are other measures to bring you to book, even now!
“Consequently, we are sending this open letter to the House of Assembly, Imo State, as notice to them of your barbaric actions, and to see if they can muster forth the courage and political will to investigate you and commence impeachment proceedings against you.”
He also informed the governor that copies of the letter would be forwarded to the Inspector General of Police and the SSS to investigate him and keep the report pending when he would be striped of immunity.
“I also intend to test the law as to how far we can take the concept of immunity vis-à-vis the commission and/or perpetration of such heinous crimes by a sitting public officer ringed with immunity. Thus expect my court papers soon!
”Should all of these fail, I wish to inform you that I will patiently wait for you to climb down from your Olympian height as Governor (no matter how long it takes) to begin civil and criminal proceedings against you,” the letter stated reminding the governor that Samuelson was taken away and on his orders, detained for weeks, charged to court and remanded in Owerri Prisons!
“The charges are as ridiculous as the physical assault in you office. The eight-count charge accused Samuelson of publishing “falsehood” and thereby “bringing the Imo State Governor into public ridicule and hatred!” Keyamo maintained.
This is not the first time a Nigerian would be so treated by a sitting governor. In the 1970s, a journalist, Chris Amakiri, who wrote a story on former military governor Diete Spiff, had his head shaved with broken bottle.
He was said to have written a story against the governor on the day he was marking his birthday, which the governor did not find interesting. Spiff, who is now a royal father, promptly ordered the arrest of the journalist who was severely tortured before his head was shaven with a broken bottle.