*Now that Ogor Andrew has spoken, what happens?
By James Ibechi, Port Harcourt
There’s a smelling salt being passed around.
A Pseudo-human being, a kill-joy so to say and everything rolled into one; who is one Ogbadu Okalibo, who is himself a whistle blower and harbinger of the smelling salt first fouled the air recently with his post on social media alleging that Dep. Majority Leader of the Benue State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Nick Eworo took a N2million bribe from Ogor Andrew Ida, ex-APC chairmanship aspirant in the just conducted LG Election in Oju LGA of Benue State.
As alleged by Okalibo, the bribe money was meant for the wife of the Benue State Governor, Mrs. Eunice Ortom, as an inducement by Ogor to make her influence the APC LG primary election to his favour; but that the Benue lawmaker representing Obi State constituency who acted as an intermediary between Ogor and the governor’s wife never delivered the bribe money. Neither did he return the slush pay back to the alleged giver of the bribe, Ogor.
Instead, Okalibo further alleged in his post on facebook that Eworo shared the booty with some APC stalwarts from Oju LGA chapter of the APC such as Mr. Ajoma Success Ode and Mr. Eru Odigiri.
While Ajoma is an official of the party at the state level, Odigiri is a supervisory councilor in Oju LGC. But Ajoma has since written a rebuttal in form of a comment both on Alobo and Joe Ipenyi’s threads on facebook.
Ajoma did not only deny the allegation, he also frowned at Ipenyi and Alobo’s efforts at helping to spread the smelling salt. Joe Ipenyi is one of Rt. Hon. Samson Okwu’s aides.
Human rights lawyer, Barr Joshua Alobo who says he is Ogor Andrew Idah’s legal adviser is not only passing the smelling salt around, but also terrifying Eworo with threats to sue him and to report him to anti-graft agency, EFCC if he failed to make a refund of the bribe money to his client after an 48hour-altimatum which had expired penultimate day.
Alobo says he has evidences to prove his case in court.
However, Eworo represented by his media aide, Comr. Andyson Iji Egbodo, supported by his hundreds of supporters denied any such transaction with Ogor.
Consequently, jamesibechi.com has learnt that Eworo is mulling over dragging Alobo to court and possibly Okalibo too for defamation of character and libel. But Okalibo is faceless.
Efforts made by jamesibechi.com to get Ogor to speak in a face-to-face interface to either confirm or deny the allegation proved abortive, as he said he was away in Imo state from his base in Port Harcourt when jamesibechi.com visited the Rivers State capital on a fact-finding mission.
However, when a telephone call was put across to him, he initially declined comment over the Okalibo’s allegation. But when he did speak, he refused to speak in affirmative, neither denying nor confirming the allegation.
“I have moved past the LG election issues. My concern and focus have been on the greater future of Igede nation. Even if I meet with you face to face, I am not going to tell you anything more than what I have already told you, even though I am not in Port Harcourt as I speak with you,” Ogor said in a telephone conversation.
On whether Joshua Alobo spoke for him, Ogor declined comment.
But on his facebook timeline he denies giving a bribe to Eworo to be forwarded to the governor’s wife contrary to Okalibo’s allegation.
His words: “My attention have (sic) been drawn to the social media war between some contending parties. I want to use this opportunity to notify my well wishers to disregard any form of information using my name as a benchmark to discredit Hon. Nick Eworo of duping me of the sum of 2 million naira. I hereby refuse to be used as an agent of confusion or as a tool of propaganda , i therefore urge my teaming supporters to beware, steadfast and watchful in reacting to rumors which is capable of bringing people’s integrity to a disarray. I comrade Ogor Andrew Idah hereby distance myself from such rumors peddling . i wish longevity to Igede Nation and long life Benue State.”
Now that Ogor has debunked the allegation, what becomes of Alobo’s threat, Eworo’s next action, whether he will sue Alobo and join Ipenyi in the suit for abetting the spread of false and malicious allegation, which he is very likely to do if the feelers from Eworo’s political camp are anything to go by, all remains to be seen in the days ahead.
In the meantime, Ogor’s denunciation of the passing smelling salt which many well-meaning Igede people condemned as a bad blood in Igede community will help to raise confidence on Eworo.
Not only that, it has also strengthened Eworo’s rumpled integrity.