A Rights activist and Lawyer, Nkem Chukwu, Friday accused the Ebonyi State Government of allegedly sealing her house without any reason or prior notice.
Chukwu, who spoke to Newsmen in Abakaliki, said some persons came to her residence on number 2 Cable TV road in Abakaliki and sealed it, adding that the agents who sealed the property refused to identify which particular government Ministry, Agency, or Parastatal they came from nor gave any reason for the sealing of the property.
Narrating her ordeal: “I was not at home when they came, but people around who saw them said some of them wore clothes with the governor’s pictures on them while others wore yellow vests,” she said.
According to her, the sealing of the property happened on Wednesday after I and other rights activists had planned a protest over the harassment of a female politician, Ann Agom-Eze, in the state by the state government.
She said: “I am Nkem Chukwu, a human rights activist and a practicing lawyer, also an Executive Director of a non-governmental organization that seeks to promote good governance, rights of women and children.
“Last week, Ebonyi state APC was on the air, on social media, name-calling, humiliating, harassing, coercing and intimidating Madam Ann Agom-Eze for contesting the same Ebonyi south senatorial District seat with the Governor, conduct contrary to sections 24, 26,29 30 and 3 of Ebonyi state violence against person prohibition Law, 2018.
“I mobilized women groups that began to condemn the humiliation. Some CSO in the state scheduled to do a peaceful road match to the state APC and INEC offices two days ago specifically on 22/8/22”.
Chukwu said the organisers shelved the protest due to security concerns, following the violent attack on women August Meeting in the State capital last week.
“It (the protest) didn’t hold because the state government’s security outfit called Ebubeagu went to the venue in Abakaliki where women gathered for August meeting and violently dispersed them.
“I received a message from the Chief Security Officer of the state(Umahi) asking me whether I am aware of the CSO road match.
“This morning, a seven-man team came and sealed my home. There is no notice from any government office, no court order to seal my home”, she added.
Mrs Chukwu said she has been receiving threats on the phone from unknown persons.
In a petition to the Commissioner of Police, the Rights Activist said the sealing of the premises was carried out by persons who simply identified themselves as agents of the Ebonyi State government.
“Sir, I am a private lawyer based here in Abakaliki. While at work, at about 10:am, my cousin living with me, namely Mrs. Chinyere Onwosi called to inform me that a seven-man team who identified themselves as agents of Ebonyi State government, Ministry or Agency not disclosed came to my premises at No. 2 Cable Tv Road and sealed my home without any Order of Court, or notice whatsoever served on me for any infraction of the law”.
“This is an invasion of my privacy and threat to my security and that of other residents therein. I request that you cause lives of persons on the premises to be protected, to investigate in a bid to determine the offenders and to treat them in accordance with the law”, she said.
Meanwhile, the State government has debunked the allegations by the rights lawyer.
Governor Umahi’s Media Aide, Chooks Oko, in a statement, admonished the Lawyer to seek solutions to whatever problems she might have without dragging the State government into it.
He said: “It is clear that even as a Lawyer, she doesn’t understand the issues on the ground. First, she talked about the dispersal of women having an August meeting; next, she is talking about a match by women groups, and next, she is talking about the sealing of her house”.
“Just as all these do not add up, we know nothing about what she is talking about. It is only a person with little or no knowledge of the Agom Eze saga that will be talking about the demonstration and being stopped from doing so”.
“She is strongly advised to seek solutions to whatever issues she deals with without dragging the government into. Nothing she has narrated commands the interest of government”, he concluded. Ends
Photos of the gate sealed with red tape, the petition to the Police, and the petitioner, Nkem Chukwu.