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ENSUBEB Chairman, Ikeje Asogwa in Hot Water Over Brutalisation of Perm Sec

Photo: Mr Ikeje Asogwa

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

…As Enugu APC Demands Investigation

A human Rights lawyer, and chairman of Enugu state chapter of All progressives Congress APC, Dr. Ben Nwoye, has called on security agencies and other relevant bodies to investigate the recent alleged brutalization and assault of a serving permanent secretary in Enugu state, by chairman, of Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB), Chief Ikeje Asogwa.

Nwoye, who spoke to newsmen in Enugu, described the act as a big  shame to the state, urging Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to protect the sanctity of the state civil service and administer sanctions on erring officers so as to  avoid breakdown in law and order.

He insisted that sweeping the heinous and barbaric act under the carpet portends serious danger to the growth of democracy in Enugu state, because “it shocks the conscience that a Permanent Secretary could be brutalized, humiliated and stripped in the premises of the (ENSUBEB) with pictures of his nakedness shown all over by hired thugs led by the chairman of the board, Asogwa, without a pronouncement from government about two weeks after the incident occurred.

Nwoye, who said he was speaking as a human Rights lawyer and concerned citizen of the state, declared that the alleged silence of the government could lead to break down in law and order in the state, because such incident could not have been swept under the carpet if it had it been meted to somebody from Nsukka axis, where the governor hails from “but because it happened to an Nkanu man, nobody, including government is talking about it

African Examiner recalled that thugs allegedly led by the ENSUBEB, chairman, Asogwa, had about a

week ago brutalized and stripped the Permanent Secretary, Onaga Ogbodo inside the premises of the commission, over issues said to be connected with the running of the affairs of the establishment .

Eye witnesses, told newsmen that Asogwa, had after ordering his “men”to lock the gate dragged the Perm sec out of his official vehicle and rained slaps on his face before stripping him with the aid of his hired thugs in the full glare of staff of the commission.

But Asogwa denied committing the act when he was  contacted by journalists.

Nwoye, maintained that sweeping such sensitive matter under the carpet would do the state more harm than good, insisting that a thorough investigation be carried out and perpetrators be brought to book, noting that  the continued silence of the government was further eroding the confidence of civil servants as true representatives and image of government in the ministries.

According to him, “Ogbodo rose to the ranks to become Permanent Secretary, he has been in the service for 34 years and will retire by next year. For him to be brought to the public square, stripped and beaten in front of staff who should ordinarily be taking orders from him on the supervision and directive of the chairman is to say the least a disgrace.

This is a mockery on the state civil service, it is the height of insult if we know what it means to be a Permanent secretary and what it takes to be there.

“A Permanent Secretary is the face of government in any Ministry and any humiliation on him is a humiliation of the government. He is the person that formulates policies for the Ministries and he is publicly beaten and stripped with his nakedness being shown around the world  and government is saying nothing, it means Enugu is doomed.

“We have returned to the era where appointees of government will do anything and go scout free, they now behave as if they are above the law; it is unheard of”.

The APC chairman in the state equally expressed disappointment with  leaders of the state and Permanent Secretaries in Nigeria over what he described as ‘conspiracy of silence”,pointing out that their continued silence was an indication that impunity could be accepted as a way of life.

Nwoye, wondered the type of policy that could emanate from the ENSUBEB,  for primary education in the state when the two key  heads in the board live like cat and mouse, calling on the governor to save education in the state by doing the needful.

He also lambasted religious, traditional and political leaders from Nkanu land where the victim hails from,

for equally keeping mum over the incident, stressing that he had expected them to rise up and condemn the barbaric act, even as he flayed teachers in the state who last week staged an alleged sponsored  solidarity rally from the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium to Okpara square with the state governor, describing such exercise  as a shame.

The teachers had during the rally endorsed Ugwuanyi for a second term in office, an act Nwoye described as lacking common sense, saying it was hasty, because 2019 is still very far.

 

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