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BARRISTER James Okpara was the Commissioner for Special Services, Legal Matters and Due Process (eh?) in the office of the former governor of Abia State, Mr. Theodore Ahamefule Orji. In this capacity, Okpara did all the dirty jobs (outlined below inexhaustively) that were inevitable for his paymaster under the umbrella of “special services”! In the preceding tripodal on this bloke, I mistakenly spelt his surname without ‘k’.
Shortly before my near-fatalistic abduction, callously masterminded by T. A. Orji and criminally executed by bestial Okpara, on March 28, 2014, his younger brother and also a friend/colleague of mine, who was my junior at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, Christian Ifeanyi Okpara, a sports editor in The Guardian, had innocently called me and informed me that his elder brother wanted to chat with me. I asked him what the issue was and which work the brother did. He retorted that he did not know exactly, but that he was with the Abia State governor, performing sundry functions that were obviously ad hoc. The meeting did not hold and the next thing was my gruesome kidnap led by vicious Okpara. It is curious that Christian did not know specifically what particular political jobbing his brother was doing! This speaks volumes of our subject.
One-time Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the defunct T. A. Orji administration, Don Ubani, recently revealed to me that Okpara was the devil who coordinated all the media assaults on the former governor of the state, Dr. Orji Kalu, using such platforms as THE NATION ON SUNDAY, Africa Independent Television (AIT), TheNews Magazine, Independent of yore, among other jaundiced publications and provincial ragsheets circulated within and around Umuahia. Okpara’s stupid brief also extended to the social media where copious stories were fabricated about Dr. Kalu and me. Yellowish handbills and juvenile leaflets were equally circulated in parts of Abuja and other strategic places by Okpara, all aimed at futilely tarnishing Dr. Kalu’s irrepressible candour.
Okpara’s assignment included suppression of freedom of information despite the national legislation against such a heinous act. This was achieved through the intimidation of media professionals, particularly Abia State-based journalists who were compelled to give up and start playing ball with the government. Those outside the state who could not be harassed were compromised hence all manner of demonic stories found their way to such wretched outlets. Okpara, I understand, was the one doling out cash to the hungry media pipers. When I suddenly emerged on the scene, it was like a thunderbolt! Okpara and his principal were forced to commit barbaric, illegal and unconstitutional invasion and seizure of this columnist. Any interested reader can contact me for the lengthy soft copy or simply google it.
Beyond this brazen media rascality, Okpara was in charge of “Ochendo Vanguard” comprising bohemians whose sole function was to terrorise dissenting Abians and cudgel them to submission. Any resistance could result in extermination. Abians were so cowed like never before that nobody in the state could raise a voice against the fleeting office occupiers.
It was in this melieu that my critical writing became a source of great worry to T. A. Orji, which necessitated the deployment of errand boy Okpara, a Lagos charge-and-bail lawyer hitherto, to come after me at all costs in collusion with the Abia State Police Command assisted by their colleagues at Aguda and Oyingbo police stations in Lagos who acted as bovine accomplices, I keep wondering the amount of tax-payers’ money that must have gone into the tragedy of my abduction. Overzealous Okpara should know as the captain and main beneficiary of the kidnap ghastliness!
Sometime ago, one faceless body known as “Mezie Abia Organisation” published an advertorial insurgency in Saturday Independent under the editorship of Charles Okogene in which Dr. Kalu, as usual, Otunba Femi Adesina, Comrade Eric Osagie and this columnist, of course, were venomously maligned, drunkenly demonised and vituperatively torn apart for being hypercritical of T. A. and the worst government in contemporary human history. Guess who the author was: this same James Okpara! By the time I responded to the intemperate piece, Femi called me and declared that he had nothing else to say after my clinical intervention entitled “Buffoonery by Mezie Abia Organisation”. Thereafter, Femi began to call me English language therapist! This feedback was one of the exhibits ignoramusely submitted by the governor’s lawyers led by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in their frivolous and ignorant defence at the Federal High Court, Lagos, where I floored them to their eternal shame!
Okpara was equally the liaison between the governor and “Abia Elders” consisting of a few impoverished men who should have spoken out against the governor’s years of misrule but shamelessly preferred to be compromised with filthy lucre and SUVs. When men behave like boys, evil triumphs. Poverty really affects mind-set.
“The Patriots” was another ad hoc assemblage of amnesic ingrates managed by Okpara. Their exclusive assignation was to pour invectives on Dr. Kalu as they all took their turns in granting all manner of interviews to drowning newspapers that are perpetually indebted to their staff for months! For such media outfits, with a small lolly, space cannot be a problem. At this point, I wonder why Okpara was not made a full commissioner in charge of disinformation and propaganda—on which T. A. and his government damnably flourished.
I gathered that Okpara was the virus for the festering PDP electoral malfeasance in Abia State. His special services included the brief to ensure that the PDP remained in power in the state at all levels from 2007 to 2015 and beyond! Eternal condemnation awaits this electoral bandit and my abductor called James Okpara.
Okpara’s last unsuccessful job was getting T. A. to make one loquacious Nwabuko, a senior conspiratorial colleague of his, a judge in the state—undeservedly and unmeritoriously. I hope Okpara still drives his rickety SUV number-plated LSD 205 BL used in my daredevil kidnap.