Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
An Onitsha businessman and Chairman Fegmatic Associates Limited, Chief Tony Onyia, has narrated how he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on his life by some assassins suspected to have been hired by one of his business rivals at Bridgehead market, Onitsha, Anambra State.
Onyia who raised the alarm while narrating the incident to newsmen in Onitsha said that the plot was to eliminate him and members of his family by some businessmen who allegedly swindled him of N75 million and wanted to cover it.
Onyia in a petition to Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura, a copy of which was made available to newsmen said, the assassins gave him a hot chase from Amansea town along Enugu-Onitsha Expressway at about 8 a.m. as he was returning to Onitsha from his village in Enugu State on Monday, May 6, 2019.
In the petition, he alleged that some group of persons namely Ifediba among others had been threatening to kill him and his family members for protecting his business and partners ‘Andreas STIHL AG &CO’.
According to Onyia, “on Wednesday, May 9, 2019, while I was in my office on Port Harcourt Road, Fegge, Onitsha, some unknown persons came around my office block, targeting to eliminate me.
“There have been uncountable numbers of phone calls with coded numbers threatening me with fire and brimstone – that I may not live to tell my story if I did I not drop my idea of recovering my N75 million allegedly diverted by a certain Ifediba and his cohorts.
“Their subsequent criminal diversion of goods worth over N2 billion belonging to my suppliers (C. Woeman Nig. Ltd) and my efforts to recover goods worth over N100 million belonging to some traders at Bridgehead market which were collected with fake court orders and diverted by the some groups are the issues at hand.
“My prominent role in protecting my business and that of my supplier (Andreas STIHL AG & CO) in Nigeria in a lawful manner is not only an assignment but a duty which remains sacrosanct and the threat of kidnap and ambushing will not intimidate me and my associates to pave way for swindlers,” Onyia stated.
He called on the commissioner of police to order an investigation into the matter, bring the culprits to book and provide him with security as well as save his business associates and innocent traders at bridgehead market from being intimidated by the group struggling to cover up its atrocities.
But, in swift reaction to the allegation, counsel to Chief Ifediba, Mr Chibuike Nwabueze, denied the allegations, saying that Mr Onyia was bent on trashing the image of the respected businessman and reputable chief in his community.
“Mr. Tony Onyia gave malicious and unsubstantiated allegation to the IGP monitoring unit against Chief Ifediba. He brought Division B 13 SCID Panti, Lagos, to Ifediba’s house three weeks ago and again last Friday to kidnap him. It was because of that, that the IGP transferred the matter to IGP IRT Abuja.
“However, Mr Tony Onyia is going to explain to the court this faceless and malicious defamation of character,” Nwabueze stated.