Home POLITICAL GIST Buhari’s anti-corruption war yielding results –Nwosu, PDP Chieftain

Buhari’s anti-corruption war yielding results –Nwosu, PDP Chieftain

15 min read

CHIEF Friday Nwosu con­tested the December 2014 Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial prima­ries against the incumbent, Gov Okezie Ikpeazu. Ever since, Nwosu has been in court against the declared winner. In this interview, he speaks on why he is still locked in a legal battle with Ikpeazu, and President Mohammadu Buhari’s anti corruption war which he said is on course.


Many people are sur­prised that you are still in court since the conclusion of the Abia PDP governor­ship primaries, why?

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I am still in court be­cause at the end of the PDP governorship primaries on December 8, 2014, I dis­covered that there was an obvious abnormality that shouldn’t have warranted the return of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu as the party’s candidate. I petitioned the leadership of the party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), pointing out the ab­normality, but they couldn’t listen to me. So, when no redress was given to me by either PDP or INEC, I took the matter to court making PDP and INEC first and sec­ond defendants respectively for their failure to act upon my petition. Secondly, my case in court is also about a particular PDP governorship aspirant who wrote a peti­tion to the PDP complaining that there was no primary election in Abia State on December 8, 2014 and that PDP should organize another primary election. The same aspirant comes from Abia North Senatorial zone but the PDP in Abia State specifically zoned the governorship ticket of the PDP to Abia South Senato­rial zone. The details of why I’m in court are a matter before the court, so I can’t freely comment on it. You can go to court and find the issues.

In specific terms, what do you want from the court?

I want justice, truth, equity, and fairness. Let the Court hear my case and if there is any merit, then let justice be done. I believe no society should promote fraud as a culture for its leaders and people. Abia State should not be an exception.

You have been a strong advocate of power shift to Ukwa/Ngwa bloc; now that a son of the zone has emerged governor, people expected that you would have sheathed your sword?

Yes, I have been a strong advocate of power shift to Ukwa/Ngwa bloc. I have not deviated from my stand on the issue of power shift in the state. When the PDP zoned the governorship position to Abia South, it meant that the party heard the long years of cries of marginalization of the Ukwa/Ngwa people. I wish to remind you that at the conclusion of the PDP gov­ernorship primaries on De­cember 8, 2014 in Umua­hia, I signed the result. For me to have signed, implies that I accepted the process wholly without question. But when I discovered that there were certain abnor­malities, I alerted my party, PDP, but they refused to act on my petition. I’m in court to seek redress and I don’t see how that amounts to not sheathing my sword. The governorship was ceded to Abia South in line with my agitation over the years. I am from the area the gover­norship was zoned to in the first place. It would have been a different thing if I’m now in court seeking to take away the governorship from Abia south.

If Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu comes to you appealing for support, will you ac­cede to the request?

This question is hypo­thetical; as a legal practitio­ner of more than 22 years standing, I don’t answer hy­pothetical questions. Again, wait until he comes. I think your question should have been, has Gov. Ikpeazu ap­proached you for support? The answer is no.

Some elders of your native Ukwa/Ngwa zone are reported to have ap­proached you to drop your matter against the governor, accusing you of working against the inter­est of the zone. What is your take on this?

Do such elders include Eze Eberechi Dick, Eze Love Wogu, Elder Em­manuel Adaelu and others? I can remember that when I discovered the abnor­mality in the nomination of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, I approached them in the company of former deputy governor, Chief Eric Acho Nkwakanma. We visited El­der Adaelu, among others. I have a lot of respect for these elders. I learnt they also made efforts to address the situation, but can’t tell what came of it. Even with my complaints to the PDP and INEC, nothing came out of it. I went to court so that other aspirants out­side Abia South where the governorship position was zoned to would not go to court and pursue the matter against the governor, per­haps prove it and win and Abia South people will lose the governorship seat. I’m in court to protect the inter­est of Ukwa/Ngwa and Abia South senatorial zone and not the other way round.

Your opponents allege you are fronting for one of the aspirants, Chief Uche Ogah to become governor, because having emerged runner up at the prima­ries, he stands a better, what’s your reaction?

Those making such ac­cusation are doing so from the point of unbridled ignorance. It is an idle talk. I’m in court against Chief Uche Ogah for the court to declare that; since he described the primaries as a sham and refused to sign or accept the result and petitioned the party’s Gov­ernorship Appeal Panel to order the conduct of another primaries, he should not be allowed to benefit from the process he discredited. I want the court to make a pronouncement on how a candidate who said there was no primaries could turn around to benefit from the process he condemned and petitioned against. Let him wait for the primary election he is calling on the party to conduct. His peti­tion against the primaries is still there and he has not withdrawn it. As a party man, Uche Ogah is bound by the decision of the party.

I’m in court to stop him from benefitting from a pri­mary election which he said didn’t take place. So, it is mischievous for somebody to say that I’m working for Uche Ogah. Anybody who knows will tell you that I don’t pretend on whatever I believe in.

How did you get the name, ‘Ikpeghebeghi’ to your name?

IkpeghebeghI means anti-corruption crusader/activist in Ngwa dialect parlance. Literally, it means money cannot buy me out. It has its origin from an organiza­tion I founded in Abia State in about the year 2000 with which I and other people of like minds fought and still fight against corruption in government, and various other social vices. We have organized a lot of anti-corruption campaigns under the umbrella of Ikpeghe­beghi. Incidentally, people in Abia began to call me Ikpeghebeghi and because I have not rejected or protest­ed against that nickname, majority of the people now know me as Ikpeghiebeghi, than as Barr. F.N. Nwosu.

Do you think President Buhari would succeed in his anti-corruption cam­paign?

President Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign is already on course. A lot of people, particularly public officers have fallen into line. President Buhari has carried out anti-corruption war in Nigeria as a Military Head of State from Janu­ary, 1984 to August, 1985 when his government was overthrown. What hap­pened in Nigeria thereafter is history. A lot of revela­tions are coming out and we all know Buhari as a non-compromiser. He had fought corruption and was succeeding before his gov­ernment was toppled. Again this time around there are no coup plotters lurking around to abort Buhari anti-corruption crusade.

My advice is that any person Buhari’s govern­ment arrests and prosecutes for corruption should tender evidence of his or her inno­cence or disprove his guilt but not to plead his ethnic origin, political party affili­ation or religious group as a defence.

It is my humble opinion that corruption is corrup­tion whether committed by an Igbo, Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Ijaw, Berom, Efik, Christian, Moslems, Pagan, PDP, APC, APGA, Labour Party etc.


Culled from sunnewsonline.com

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One Comment

  1. Terrance

    December 1, 2015 at 11:03 am

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your
    next post, I will try to get the hang of it!


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