Michael Emaluji, a civil rights activist, has accused Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State, of plotting his arrest and murder over his support for a protest organized by a group of women in the state.
The women, according to Michael, supplied commodities to the state government during the 2019 NorthFest event but had not been paid. Consequently, they took their grievances to human rights radio in Abuja where the governor was “roundly castigated”. Following Michael’s public backing for the struggle, he has been subjected to harassments and threats.
Michael mentioned one Bar. Alphonsus Ogar, Director of Cross River’s Due Process and Price Intelligence, as the one directly giving orders to security agents on the governor’s behalf. He said Alphonsus plotted to have him arrested, tortured and then detained indefinitely on trumped-up charges.
“Alphonsus procured the services of his female acquaintance, together, they went to Emaluji’s Facebook wall and extracted pictures of me holding a toy gun during a paint ball game in Port Harcourt the previous years,” he said.
“Armed with the pictures, a plot was hatched and a petition was sent to the Police and Department of State Security Services, DSS that Emaluji was planning to harm the DG.”
Ayade has a history with social critics. Agba Jalingo, publisher of News Watch, was arrested after releasing a series of reports on how the governor allegedly diverted N500 million meant for Cross River State Micro Finance Bank.
Joseph Odok, anoter critic of the governor, was also arrested in a similar fashion two years ago and charged with terrorism.
Michael told FIJ that Alphonso was bent on using the Department of State Service (DSS) to get him after the State Commissioner of Police insisted on fair investigation into the cooked-up charges.
DSS could not be reached via the number on its website as the phone was switched off. An SMS sent to Governor Ayade’s phone has also not been replied.
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