By Chukwudi Nweje
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo has disassociated himself from the political battles Gov Godwin Obaseki is fighting regarding his second term ambition.
He described as “malicious falsehood”, stories making the rounds that he is behind the governor’s ordeal and that the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole had initially prepared him to oust Obaseki.
He said he has “never had his eyes on the Edo governorship” and asked Obaseki and his associates to fight their battles without dragging him into it.
Okunbo denied accusations that he is a drug baron, saying those behind the story were out to destroy his reputation. He clarified that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), under the leadership of General Musa Bamaiyi, investigated his source of wealth in 1995, but he was cleared by the then Miscellaneous Offences Tribunal, Lagos.
He said, “I wonder what I had done wrong to deserve these reckless, false and malicious attacks on my person. I will no longer gloss over any intentional mischief that do incalculable harm to my person, name, business and brand.”
He observed that a petition was written to the anti-drug agency querying how he came about his wealth and acquisition of choice properties and that he immediately instituted a legal action against the NDLEA. He explained that when the case with charge No: MOT/L/163/95 was brought before the Miscellaneous Offences Tribunal, Lagos, where it was established that the prosecution had not made any prima facie case against him that would warrant him to even defend himself, he was discharged and acquitted of all charges on a ‘no case’ submission.
He maintained that his reputation was built over the decades on hard work, dedication, commitment to excellence and highest standards of forthrightness.
Reacting to the development, a former House of Representatives member, Sunny Aguebor, said the attacks on Okunbo are regrettable. He said Okunbo is a man of integrity who built his business empire over the years.
He urged the business mogul to disregard what he called “cheap malicious character assassination that does not deserve your precious time.”
Assistant Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Mrs Bisi Idaomi, threatened that the people of the state would take up the fight against Okunbo if the attacks on Okunbo continued.
“Here is a man, who does more for our people, leaders, students, women from Edo extraction than those in the present Edo State government. Edo people will resist the insult and falsehoods peddled against our son, this is a firm promise.”