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Nwogwugwu, those fronting him and those confronting him

By Ogu Bundu Nwadike

On the ongoing unfortunate and indeed unnecessary arm-twist of the opposition class in Imo State via the instrumentality of the unlawful arrest and detention of Comrade Ambrose Nwaogwugwu, there have been some matters arising. Democracy is being chained!

One major matter arising is the growing insinuations that the bird dancing on the pathway has its drummers in the nearby bush. It implies that a child sent on a robbery mission by his father goes with the boldness and courage of the gods and kicks down doors with his strong feet.

Nwaogwugwu’s traducers seem very convinced that some people are gingering him to use his writings to fight the current regime in Imo State.But, that’s most far from the truth.

As a fledgling journalist, writer and author, I know very much that nobody could have sat Nwaogwugwu down to school him on what to write in the delivery of his job as the Director-General, Imo PDP New Media. Writing is more spiritual than physical.

For several times on several occasions, I’ve heard about “people sponsoring him”, “people deceiving him”, “leaders misleading him” etcetera. The latest is “those backing him” and by extension “those fronting him”! And the statement attributed to none other than the Imo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice.

That must have warranted the surge in enquiries from us on what really the top official of government was talking about!

Even before the past three weeks of these allegations about Nwaogwugwu being sponsored, deceived, misled by some people, and since thereafter, it has been expected that the peddlers of such allegations should have exposed “those backing him”!

But with passing days and weeks all that’s still heard are sheer insinuations that there are persons backing Nwaogwugwu!

What’s “backing” anyway? Every writer has an audience, who form his indeterminate supporter base!

Except if by “those backing him”, reference is being made to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State, or his family and friends, then the insinuations about “those backing him” are deceptive, diversionary and distractive!

There’s nothing like that! It all smacks more of giving an active ruthweiler a bad name to hang it. In the bush, a hunting dog is the master of itself. His pace depends on the speed of the game!

The dirty, smelly billy goat has a way of venting the anger of his loss by butting the poor innocent kid with its shameless short horns, when he fails in his amorous inquest from the nanny goat!

Indeed, it’s futile nodding Comrade Nwaogwugwu in lieu of the active, stoic but obviously slippery opposition class in Imo State!

That’s moreso since the entire melodrama of the arrest and detention of Comrade Ambrose Nwaogwugwu has been struggling too hard to attract any applause from the audience. There’s really nothing to cheer in the evolving hassling of the Comrade Nwaogwugwu.

Legal pundits and normal citizens have been asking, “what’s Nwaogwugwu’s offence?”, and straining their ears to get plausible answers. Yet, the only assessable thing proffered as answer is that there are “those backing him”!

Who are those and where are those backing him? How have those backing him been backing him? When? Then, why? These are cogent questions awaiting answers from the insinuators!

As an officer of Imo PDP in the New Media Directorate, Comrade Ambrose Nwaogwugwu merits the full-option backing of Imo PDP, under this circumstance of his yet to be situated charges and offences! He also can’t be denied the backing of his family and friends! Whatever “backing” means!

Some people have been offering probono allocutus. Fine! And we hear Douglas House is expecting allocutus from Imo PDP nay “those backing him”!

But does anybody truly say “abeg” for nothing? People expect to hear what was Nwaogwugwu’s offence before the need for “abeg” will arise, where he’s confirmed complicit!

Is it not after initial plea of “not guilty”, comes plea of “guilty”, if eventually proved? In fairness to truth and justice, Nwaogwugwu remains innocent until he’s proved guilty! So says the law! True or false?

When, at the instance of this regime, Nwaogwugwu was arrested by tricks (ABT) on May 28, 2020 at the offices of the DSS, Imo people and observers outside the State feared there was an offence. But nobody knew what the offence was!

After nine days, precisely on June 5, 2020, when he was arraigned in a Magistrate Court, everybody keenly listened to hear the offence(s) for which the Imo PDP officer was brought to Court by this regime!

Alas, a 7-Count charge bothering on alleged “dangerous” statements, comments and photospeak, allegedly found on Nwaogwugwu’s Facebook wall and page were stated to have defamed Senator Uzodimma. Surprisingly, and indeed shockingly, those “Facebook talk” were tied to laws of Nigeria against cyber crime and terrorism offences!

It’s still very baffling to many analysts how ordinary common jives and jabs expressed on the public walls and pages of Facebook market square would qualify for “cyber crime” and “terrorism”! Maybe, those comments now in public domain may be “dangerous”, depending on semantics, but certainly not “cyber crime” and “terrorism”!

Nwaogwugwu, as I know, often cashed in on trending news to do his job in New Media. He’s an opposition media operative. The lapses of the regime were his profit cow. He often only added to existing narrative. He seldom created new narratives. That am aware of!

For example, since his muzzling this past three weeks and still counting, the problems of fake press release and fake news from the regime have persisted, all signed by the relevant authorities of the regime in Owerri.

If Nwaogwugwu were free and cashed in the goofs by the regime and posts his opinions on his Facebook wall and page, then his posts would been tagged “dangerous” and “defamatory”!

But there’s cause and effect, just as there’s no smoke without fire. Since Nwaogwugwu has been caged, who has been feeding the society with the fake news and fake press releases that media operators of this regime have on their Facebook walls and pages? Certainly not the same chained “dangerous terrorist”!

Maybe, there are “dangerous terrorists” in the media outfit of this regime, who churn out fake press releases and fake news, which Nwaogwugwu and other non-aligned writers and media operatives work with by way of normal analyses!

Above all, this is a democracy. Some thinkers and schools of thought say it’s democrazy. And the basis of democracy is freedom of thoughts and speeches. It may not make sense, but citizens must be allowed to enjoy their freedom of speech even if it’s deemed “nonsensical”! Nwaogwugwu remains a citizen!

Anyhow, let me stop. The matter is now subjudice. I must restrain and refrain from saying anything on it.

Yet, it’s saliently disturbing why such a matter with a charge of “terrorism” was filed at the Magistrate Court, which lacked jurisdictional locus standi to entertain it! Why?

Could it be cluelessness or ineptitude or incompetence or all of the above? Whichever it was, certainly it was wrong, though in character!

Why didn’t the regime approach a court of competent jurisdiction to file the suit against Nwaogwugwu? Why did the Magistrate Court entertain a matter it didn’t have jurisdiction over ab initio? All those are red flags of fishy things smelling in the entire arrest and detention so far of Comrade Ambrose Nwaogwugwu by this regime! The world is watching and listening!

Incidentally, after all the delay, diversion and distraction, the same Magistrate Court on June 19, 2020 confessed it doesn’t have jurisdiction over the matter!

The question then is: “What next?” Yes, “What next?” Ideally, in sane judicial climes, the confessional of lack of jurisdiction should have earned Nwaogwugwu a well-deserved unconditional release and freedom. Case closed! But this is Nigeria and Imo State at that!

However, as it is now, the only available true answer is that lawyers to Comrade Ambrose Nwaogwugwu will on Monday, June 22, 2020 seek his release and freedom at the State High Court, Owerri.

And coincidentally on that same day, Monday, June 22, 2020, legal counsels to same Comrade Nwaogwugwu would be at the Federal High Court, Owerri to seek the payment of N50 million by the Department of State Security DSS, Owerri, as damages for his unlawful detention beyond the stipulated 48 hours. That’s the news!

Hopefully, on the lack of merit of the Facebook wall and page suit by Imo State Government, unconditional release and freedom will be secured at the State High Court for Nwaogwugwu on Monday, June 22, 2020! Oremus!!

By God’s grace, Imo State must be rebuilt!

By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A

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