Benue Police Commissioner, Hassan Detains Activist, Mojekwu For Dragging Governor Alia’s Aide To EFCC Over N20billion Fraud

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The newly deployed Commissioner of Police in Benue State, Mr. Yabaneth Steve Hassan on Tuesday night detained Mr. Uchenna Mojekwu, a civil rights activist and Secretary of the Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN).

Mojekwu was detained over a petition written against Dr. Dennis Akura, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Benue State, Hyacinth Alia, on Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

It would be recalled that in February 2024, the GICN, through Mojekwu, submitted a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), detailing how the government of Alia, through his aide, Akura, allegedly authorised and withdrew over N20billion from the Benue local government accounts, attaching evidences of letters signed by different Council Chairmen and Directors.

The anti-corruption group also submitted a copy of the petition to the Department of State Services (DSS) and the House Committee on Public Petitions, inviting various agencies to investigate the allegation.

Further recall that the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, had on 27th February, 2024, summoned Dr. Dennis Akura to answer questions concerning the said missing N20billion being part of Federal Allocations to the 23 Local Government Areas in Benue State, the invitation which was turned down by the governor’s aide.

While the EFCC reportedly transfered the petition to its Makurdi Zonal Office and invited the lawyer group for adoption of the petition; Dr. Akura, on the other hand, rather than turning himself over or allowing full investigations into the allegation, opted to writing to the police authorities in Benue State, to arrest the petitioners.

It was gathered that, a Deputy Commissioner of Police in Benue also wrote to the petitioners, inviting them for questioning, while the EFCC was still waiting for the petition to be adopted and investigation had not yet commenced.

Speaking, the Chairman of BoT/President of GICN, Barrister Edward Omaga, said Mojekwu honoured the police invitation in the company of other officials of GICN to defend allegations of conspiracy, criminal defamation and cyberstalking levelled against him by the Special Adviser to Alia, Dr. Akura before he was detained Tuesday night, on the order of the Commissioner of Police, Hassan.

Barr. Omaga vowed that the group would not fold its hands and “allow the Benue State Government to have their way through the police”, alluding that the detention of the GICN Secretary was a plot to suppress the investigation that is about to start at the EFCC and other antigraft agencies.

“Massive protests are on the way at strategic locations in Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja within the coming days to draw attention of local and international communities to the efforts the group has made so far to tackle corruption and how the police is being used to truncate such efforts”, he said.

The group called on President Bola Tinubu and the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to intervene in the matter with a view to ensuring that the fundamental human rights of Mr. Mojekwu are not breached by Dr. Akura and the Benue State government.

Sources at the police command revealed that the detention of Mojekwu was a way of silencing and arm twisting the group from pushing the allegations further against the Special Adviser.

The sources further hinted that, plans had been made to charge Mojekwu to a court and hurriedly obtain a judgement against him by Benue State Government for purpose of sending him to prison without justification.

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