MAURICE OKAFOR writes that Deacon Okey Ogbodo, a former commissioner for lands and Urban Development in Enugu state[2003 to 2007], who currently insists that he is the duly elected chairman of the All Progressives Congress[APC],Enugu state chapter, based on the state convention of the party held in 2017 at Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium,has debunked allegations involving him in any form of land grabbing in the state while he was in and out of office.
He described publications on some social media outfits labelling him to have been dragged to Independent Corrupt Practices Commission[ICPC] based on a petition to the effect by a human rights organization known as “Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN),as mischievous, since no such petition or invitation by ICPC was brought to him. He said he will challenge the publications in court, if the reporters fail to retract their publication.
In an exclusive chat with The AUTHORITY South East post, Deacon Ogbodo described his purported invitation by ICPC as published in the some social media platforms as politically motivated fabrications, sponsored by his political detractors.
He stated, ‘The purported invitation by ICPC is a motivated fabrication sponsored by my political opponents to bring me to their level. The allegation is baseless and unfounded. The issues raised does not exist. I left office as a commissioner in Enugu state as far back as 2007 on a very clean note’.
He wondered why none of such allegations has been raised against him for over a decade that he vacated office from any quarters, insisting that the online publication was a mere fabrication to malign him, stating he did respond to any reporter’s question to that effect.
Deacon Ogbodo said he was on stirring when he received a call from a journalist name withheld) urging him to react to allegation of him selling plots of land to members of the public using land allocation papers he acquired when he served as commissioner for lands in Enugu state but he gave the Reporter appointment to hear his own side of the story another day.
He said he was shocked to the marrow the next day when he read statements credited to him in some social media and online Platform crediting him with statements, he did not utter.
His words,” I was shocked when my attention was drawn to some published reports in some online publications, quoting me out of contest. I never said there is nothing wrong in acquiring land allocation papers with fictitious name. It is purely an imagination of the Reporter. Moreno, It is only one journalist who called me over the allegation, which according to him was contained in a petition before him. He failed to keep the appointment to hear from me. I wonder how some other press men copied from him without calling me for verification. This is purely fake news and I am demanding for retractions,.
Ogbodo asserted that publication which he alleged we’re done out of malice was the handwork of his political detractors. He insisted he never received a copy of the acclaimed petition against him by the human rights organization or an invitation from ICPC.
THE AUTHORITY South East post checks in Enugu, revealed that even as Deacon Ogbodo’s rival, Dr Ben Nwoye, in the authentic chairman of Enugu APC was recently appointed as an assistant Federal Commissioner, one had thought that the trio of Deacon Okey Ogbodo, Comrade A. C. Ude, the pioneer deputy chairman and Lolo Mrs Queen Nwankwo, who once disagreed with Dr Nwoye’s leadership style in the party, would continue working together in rebuilding the party in the state, but the current political shenanigans in the party has pitched Deacon Ogbodo against Comrade A. C. Ude and others. Consequent upon an Enugu high court last week fixed hearing on the battle for the control of leadership of Enugu State chapter of APC to February, 2021.