Three persons have been arrested for the alleged shooting of Dr Ngozi Ozioko, the Chair of Ogige Market Traders Association Nsukka (OMATAN), Enugu State.
But a trader at the market, Mr Obiora Asogwa, has alleged that his brother and two other traders being detained in connection with the shooting are targets of political victimisation from the market boss.
Asogwa, speaking with Daily Sun correspondent on phone also alleged that the OMATAN chair and her daughter were suspected to have been hit by stray bullets from one of the security personnel guarding the market who accompanied her to her residence after attending a social function at Ede Oballa community in the council area.
While calling for assistance from the governments and good spirited individuals in securing the unconditional release of his brother, Emmanuel Asogwa, and two others – Okezie Attah and Damian Ugwuanyi – allegedly detained by the police, Asogwa said the market leader saw them as opposition and had accused them of a crime they knew nothing about to enable her to return unopposed for the second tenure as the chair of the OMATAN.
‘The OMATAN chairman, Ngozi Ozioko, wrote a petition to the police, alleging that, Emmanuel Asogwa, Okezie Attah and Damian Eze sent the boys who attempted to assassinate her on the September 26. They were arrested two days after the incident.
‘The truth is that the OMATAN chairman and her daughter were shot by a local security guard attached to the market who accompanied her to a social function at Ede Oballa. They followed her home after the event and to announce her arrival, shot into the air. However, one of the security personnel had a problem with his gun and had brought it down to fix it when bullets escaped from the barrel and caught them. Some of the security personnel know the truth.’
The OMATAN chair, reacting from the hospital in Enugu where she is still receiving treatment, said the suspects masterminded the assassination attempt on her life.
‘I am not afraid of allegations because the truth will prevail at the end of the day. I have been working with the security men since my election last four years and they didn’t shoot me until now that my first tenure is coming to end.
‘The people that were arrested sent those who came to assassinate me but God will punish them one by one. Ogige Market is not worth dying for and should not make somebody to go and kill. Why are they talking about the election?
‘Just two days after I went to thank Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the pipe-borne water he is sinking in the market and I was attacked. I have been receiving endorsement since last year from people who appreciate the efforts I am making to reposition the market for the better. Anyone who wishes to contest for any position should go for it. Why are they after my life? I thank God that I didn’t die on the spot because the person they sent asked me if it was my birthright to be the chairman of the market association. The attack is from the market,’ Ozioko said.