The police in Imo State, south-east Nigeria, have arrested a traditional ruler in the state for allegedly sharing a social media post reportedly against Governor Hope Uzodinma.
The monarch, Ekene Obinali of Umucheke, Umuobom, a community in Ideato South Local Government Area of the state, was arrested by the operatives of the Anti-kidnapping Unit of the police in the state, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
He was accused of sharing a write-up said to be critical of the governor on a WhatsApp platform.
The embattled traditional ruler had, on 20 March, shared the write-up on a WhatsApp group platform known as ‘Ideato Voice,’ a member of the WhatsApp group, who asked not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the case, told this newspaper.
The administrator of the WhatsApp platform, Vitus Ezenwa, confirmed the arrest of the monarch to reporters on Friday.
Mr Ezenwa, a publisher of a local newspaper in the state, said the traditional ruler was arrested and detained by the police on Wednesday.
The administrator of the WhatsApp group said the police arrested him (Ezenwa) first and granted him bail before they picked up the traditional ruler, who allegedly shared the post on the platform.
The post in question was titled, “Gov Hope Uzodinma in fresh scandal”. It focused on the alleged role played by a slain chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ahmed Gulak in the 2018 APC governorship primary election in Imo State, which was won by Mr Uzodinma.
Mr Gulak, a former political adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, was the chairperson of the panel which conducted the primary.
He was shot dead by gunmen in Owerri Imo State on 30 May 2021.
The spokesperson of the police in Imo, Henry Okoye, confirmed the arrest of the monarch to PREMIUM TIMES, Friday.
“Yes. He (Obinali) is being investigated for cyberstalking,” Mr Okoye, an assistant superintendent of police, said.
“Further developments will be communicated to the general public,” he added.