Famous Reporters, Abakaliki
A group, known as Ebonyi New Media Practitioners Forum, has alleged that Governor David Umahi of being behind the closure of a hotel belonging to the former Governor of the state, Dr Sam Egwu.
According to the group, the governor was bent on tarnishing the image of Peoples Democratic Party stalwarts in the state, who refused to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress, with him.
The group stated this in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Mr Nwede Martins, on Friday.
Recall that Grace Court Hotels, located on Nna Street, Abakaliki, which is owned by Dr Egwu, was on Monday, shut by operatives of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, for allegedly harbouring drugs traffickers.
But the group, on Friday, said, “The Ebonyi State New Media Practitioners Forum has received with shock the news of the shutting down of the Grace Court Hotel at Nna Street, Abakaliki owned by the first executive governor of the state and senator representing Ebonyi North Zone, His Excellency, Sen. Dr Sam Egwu by the Ebonyi State Government through a surrogate government agency on the excuse that the hotel harboured drug users. For the members of the public who may not know anything about the facility, the hotel came to function before 2007 when the owner left office as Governor of Ebonyi State and since then had not been suspected to be a safe haven for criminal elements.
“Though allegedly sealed from use by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, we are aware of the plot by the Ebonyi State Government under the superintendence of Gov. David Umahi to plant implicating objects on properties owned by the People’s Democratic Party’s stakeholders in the state and use same as subterfuge to clamp down on such properties.
“This is in tandem with the alarm raised by the recently elected National Vice Chairman of the PDP in South East, Chief Ali Odefa where he said that the Ebonyi State Government had perfected plans to plant implicating objects on his establishments in the state to seal them from use. We have come to realisation that in order not to manifest such a sinister action on the properties of the zonal party helmsman, the government resorted to channeling the action on the Grace Court Hotel to spite the former governor whose track records remain unbeatable by any government in the state since he left office.
“We wonder why no report of such criminal activity was linked with the hotel until the present Governor left the PDP for the APC which distorted the relationship he had with the first executive governor.”
But in a swift reaction, the Ebonyi State Government, said the allegation was not only baseless, but unfounded, adding it was the handiwork of mischief makers.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Mr Stanley Okoro-Emegha, stated this in a telephone interview with our Correspondent, on Friday, wondering when the job of the NDLEA, became that of the state government.
According to Okoro-Emegha, “What sort of stupid and dirty allegation is this? What business does Ebonyi State Government have with the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency? Is there anything connectivity?
“What has the state government got to do with the running of the NDLEA? Are they not doing their job? This agency of Federal Government is charged with the responsibility of investigating and arresting drugs dealers and that’s what has done and will still do.
“It is the duty of the state government to do that? What kind of allegation is that, that’s coming from mischief makers and those who hate good things?
“Doesn’t Sen. Obinna Ogba have hotels in this state? Don’t other National Assembly members have investments in this state? How many times have their investments been shut down by either the state government or the NDLEA? Please, regard this allegation as unfounded and baseless.”