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Journalist Beaten Unconscious & Arrested By Two Ebonyi State Officials



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Igwe Emmanuel - Publisher, National Issues


Information recently made available to 247ureports.com reveals that a journalist and a publisher of a local magazine [National Issues] narrowly escaped death in the hands of thugs hired by officials of the Ebonyi State government.

The Journalist/Publisher, Igwe Emmanuel who resides at Abakaliki in Ebonyi State was struck by ‘unknown’ gunmen on the late evening [8pm] of Saturday June 2, 2012 while he drove home along Federal Teaching Hospital road in his Mazda 626 salon car with registration number AE19ZLL. The gunmen did not retrieve money from Igwe Emmanuel but they collected his laptop, camera, voice recorder and documents.  The gunmen proceeded to beat Igwe Emmanuel with the butts of their pistols till he lost consciousness. The gunmen left Igwe Emmanuel by the roadside to die.

Good Samaritans who saw the body of Igwe Emmanuel lying lifeless at the roadside rescued him. They acted to rush him to the nearby Federal Teaching Hospital where he later regained consciousness. He was discharged from the hospital on Sunday June 3, 2012 – and was told to return the next day [Monday June 4, 2012].

As Igwe Emmanuel checked out of the hospital, he placed a ‘save our soul’ call to the commissioner of police, Adeole Adeniyi informing of the threat to his life – and of the rusty relationship he enjoys with two officials of the Ebonyi State government. Particularly, he mentioned their names to the Police Commissioner as Celestine Nwali [Commissioner for Local Government Affairs and Chieftaincy Matters] and Celestine Igberi [Chairman Igwo LGA and Chairman ALGON]. The Police Commissioner replied in a text message to Igwe Emmanuel stating “come and see me in my house today between now through 4pm“. Igwe Emmanuel Igwe, as told, went to the Police Commissioner’s home – a mobile police officer [MOPOL] by the name Chidi Uguru was assigned to the case.

On Monday June 4, 2012, following his scheduled appointment with the hospital, as Igwe Emmanuel made his way home, he was forcefully picked up by the police and detained at the State CID Police Headquarters in Abakaliki for questioning – on a petition filed by Celestine Nwali and Celestine Igberi – alleging ‘false publications’ by Igwe Emmanuel on their person.

Igwe Emmanuel was taken to a magistrate court after 24hours detention in police cell. He was charged with making ‘false publications’ and given bail by the magistrate – who requested for a shortee to be a ‘level 16’ civil servant – equivalent to a permanent secretary. Hearing was set for June 27, 2012.

The trouble with the two officials of the Ebonyi State government stems from revealing publication on the looting of Ebonyi State’s LGA funds.  Igwe Emmanuel was responsible for blowing the whistle on the ongoing between Celestine Nwali and Celestine Igberi.

247ureports.com made efforts to reach Hon Celestine Nwali through his MTN line 0803xxxx783 but did not pick his calls nor did he respond to our text messages. The police commissioner, Adeole Adeniyi was reached on the mobile phone. He said he was in Abuja when the incidence occurred – so he could not comment.

See below for one the published exchanges between Igwe Emmanuel and the two officials:-


Reading through the centre page of the VOICE Newspaper of May 27 ,

2012 ,Vol 3 No 21 page 13 entitled   LEAVE HON. CElE NWALI AND FAMILY

ALONE, one cannot but hear the voice of Hon. Celestine Nwali and see

the hand of his hirelings , hiring the page  of the VOICE NEWSPAPER

linked directly to the faceless CONCERNED PEOPLE OF IKWO NOYO AND

FRIENDS OF HON. CELESTINE NWALI with public fund to intimidate malign

blackmail and thrash the person of Emma Igwe and national issue

newspaper for questioning societal ills. The amusing advertorial

bought by the honourable in the name of his friends and concerned Ikwo

Noyo clan which phonologically seems as if HON CELE and his family is

under any confinement only sought to demonize the publisher the

publisher of  National Issue newspaper so as to mask his dirty under

dealings in the local government system instead of addressing the hue

and cry of  the public in that level which the article in the National

Issue newspaper brought to the public notice how ever,I share in the

predicament of the pseudo friends of Hon. Cele Nwali and his concerned

Ikwo Noyo  people, especially with their fruit less effort in that

piece of exercise the unhappy venom of that sting from the mind of

their  paymaster which made them to twist the words out of meaning and

dragged the premise into confrontation. Any way, they can,t give what

they don,t have but I wish to state here that no amount of threat,

intimidation and harrastment will make the National Issue Newspaper to

submit and abandon its avowed defense of truth and social justice.

Perusing that rambling piece, I laboured hard to find the

marriage between the authors rigmarole and the stated premise. The

writer rather than attacking the fact raised in the publication delved

into the biography of the Commissioner and waded into the forages of

absurd illogicalities and self contradiction . Besides the authors

reckless ridicule of the art of journalism and the flagrant

demonstration OF CONSCIENCE and morality in the bid to purify the

malfeasance and indiscretion in the Commissionership of Hon. Cele

Nwali in the local government  ministry, I would have over looked the

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paid advertorial.


For the mare audacity of the writer to state that, while we urge

members of the public to view the vexatious article written in the

most ascorbic and unmitigated diatribe as the figment of the writers

imagination,  I dare Hon. Clec Nwali and his coteries of concerned

food is ready apologists with facts to substantiate the issues raised

in that article. I make bold to put the records straight as a member

of this illustrious family that places high premium on facts not

fiction, reality not imagination .FACTS NO1: The author of the said

piece said, ‘‘we clearly wish to restate that during his reign in

earlier capacities, he had meritoriously served, on no occasion has he

been found wanting.’’ In this regard it is important to refresh Hon.

Cele and his acclaimed friends’ memory and inform the general public

how he defrauded the state in various questionable transactions in the

ministry of public utilities. One, do you know that CEWOPI is a

company Hon. Cele registered while  he was serving as a commissioner

for works in the old Enugu State, fronting Mr. Igwe Emmanuel his

relation as the CEO of the company. Two, Do you know that CEWOPI

company which Hon. Cele is a director executed almost all the rural

electrification projects while he is the commissioner for public

utilities. Do you know that he awarded himself (CEWOPI) the contract

without due process as the contract finance agreement between the

CEWOPI and government was signed without the presence of critical

government officials? You need to know that the contracts which were

over-inflated and paid upfront in whole had no originating approval as

verbal approval was the order of the day. In essence while in that

ministry in an unconventional manner that rubbished the basic

foundation of the 2007 public procurement Act that seeks transparency

in the procurement and award of contracts. It is unthinkable that

those projects were never supervised neither did the company had any

good record of performance but Hon. Celestine regularly paid the

company the huge contractual sum including the increased variations.

This is the picture of a man that has not been found wanting!

FACTS NO2: Hon. Celestine Nwali approved and paid substantial amount

of money for the installation of traffic light at the busy junction in

Abakaliki  metropolis without and fair deal in respect of government

and road users getting the contract value for the payment. Sad enough

the revered commissioner certified the work completed and satisfactory

but it is regrettable to note that the traffic light was not just

faulty but it didn’t function up to three weeks it was installed. It

is important to note that his successor in that ministry did not only

condemn the shoddy performance  of the contractor of the contractor

but revoked it .The certification of those projects never completed or

badly executed poses serious questions on the integrity of the

Commissioner and represents such a sordid scenario  in the ministry of

public utilities under Hon. Nwali .

FACTS NO 3 ; The financial status of  Cewopi Nigeria Limited is

just questionable but frightening . It is obvious that CEWOPI was

hitherto a moribund company  lacking manpower , materials and

machines, how come within few years of its rejuvenation , it has grown

solid capital base worth billions of naira ? Do you know the company

recently procured from abroad sophisticated machines and equipment

valued at over  $7.8m . How did the company generatew that money?. He

has right to refutes these facts or keep quite and enjoy his impunity

stealing that is causing the state economic adversity.

FACTS NO 4. It is a matter of common knowledge that Barr. Igberi

Nweme had to remain the Chairman of Ikwo  Local Government Area

despite the fact that he was not the choice of his people . It was

Hon. Cele Nwali’s arbitrations that sustained his succession programme

. The reality is that the council chairman is the commissioner’s

protégé in the council Area. Incredibly , he was condemned by the wife

of the Governor for obvious non-performance out of  the thirteen

council chairmen. It is however absurd that rather than Hon. Cele’s

friends  being emboldened to disclaim the National Issue assertion

“his brother who goes around giving various awards to council chairmen

and coordinators for a mere fact that they a monthly return of two

million naira to  the powerful Ikwo Commissioner” . They succeeded in

expressing sentiment as according to the writers poser, “ How come

Cele Nwali who never withheld funds——-is being blamed for the

non-payment of such funds by some council chairmen even when he has

played his crucial part by releasing the fund? In a more desperate

move to exonerate the commissioner , the writer stated that  “we

unequivocally wish to posit that the role of the ministry of local

government and chieftaincy matters is basically the supervision of

local governments and Development Centres  and not to teleguide them

on the utilization of their funds” Can the Commissioner deny the fact

there is no nucleated link between him and various council chairmen ,

hasn’t he the commissioner been inspecting Igberi’s project and giving

him pass mark and numerous award. The council chairmen know the truth,

if any of them refutes this write-up I will personally use the

instrumentality of the freedom of information bill to compel Stanbic

Ibtc Bank to publish the various accounts of the council  chairmen or

their relatives domiciled in the said bank for the purpose of stealing

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our collective wealth. In another dimension , I will publish  the

numerous property of Mr. Nwali so that Ebonyi will know where their

money is going. I stand to be challenged , Cele N wali is richer than

Governor Elechi. By 2007 Mr. Nwali insisted that GOVERNOR Elechi must

pay him before he will release his building for the use of the

GOVERNOR’S campaign . To be honest , NwalI  never wore only cloth

throughout the duration of Elechi’s campaign by 2007, if anybody is in

doubt I can publish his pictures then.

The above rhetoric’s and emphasis as posited by friends of Hon.

Celestine Nwal.i is very pathetic . But let us assumethat the

commissioner is unable to discharge the powers conferred on him by

Ebonyi State local government councils and Development centres

amendment law 2008 which saddled the ministry of Local government and

chieftaincy matters with the provision of supervisory roles to the

local Government and Development centres . The same laws also empowers

the commissioner as it is thus stated therein , “The ministry of local

Government and Chieftaincy matters aims at consolidating on programmes

and activities that champions the causes of Ebonyi rural masses

through an efficient and effective local government system capable of

providing improved infrastructure ,human and social services to the

grassroot “ the amended law as stated here is anything to go by , it

is either the commissioner is incompetent or we make bold to restate

that Hon. Cele’s inability to checkmate the brisk inactivity of the

council chairmen and monitor the utilization of fund he released

reveals a marriage of mind between the assertion of National Issue

publication and the non-performance of the council chairmen. More

over, the failure of the commissioner to discharge the mandate of the

ministry especially as it pertains to the 1st, 4th, 6th schedule of

the haunting truth many Ebonyi leaders including the commissioner

already know but stubbornly refused to edmit. It is the fact that Hon.

Cele Nwali did not only lack the brain but he lacks the character to

free enough fund money for infrastructural development of the rural

area without unduly punishing the poor Ebonyians whose general

population is in a tight of poverty. It is the fact that the Hon.

Commissioner is the silkworm in the root of  the local government

resources  whose intuitive collaboration and influence and bad

influence on the council chairman leaves little or nothing to the

council to deliver on critical issues like healthcare , infrastructure

and skill acquisition programme which affect the the greater majority.

Facts no 5; That less for the error in the surname of the bank

account holders name in which the National Issue publication misnamed

Emeka Onele every other claim pertaining to the stanbic Ibtc

transaction as recorded in  that publication are very correct with

proven evidences . However  for obvious personal reasons we have

resolved not to publish the account numbers and transactions details

which is already cooling in our safe box . I dare any chairman to

publicly deny this fact and also advise the commissioner and his

so-called friends to stop bleeding the local government to death or

the citizenry will demand your prosecution . Moreso , since you have

resolved to take legal action against National Issue in a court of

competent jurisdiction over the said publication , we are happy to

inform you that  National Issue Newspaper  believe so much in justice

and rule of law , WE SHALL BE WAITING FOR YOU IN GOURT . It is

imperative to advise Hon. Cele to stop chasing an abstract  ground in

pursuance of image laundering and reputation . No person is loosing

sleep over your insatiable percuniary   gains neither is the

publication sponsored to bring your reputation to bring your

reputation to the mud ,rather the publication is only advising you to

stop giving pittance to the council chairmen  in the name of

allocation . The fiagrant display of disregard for due process and

perpetration of illegality in the deduction of local government fund

accounts largely for the poverty , non-performance underdevelopment

and debilitating insecurity in the various concils  of this state.

That article which incriminated the commissioner in the act of

governance at the local government governments also blamed the

reckless and excessive spending of the council chairmen due to the

possible hijack of her activities by the ministry . Please  Mr.

Commissioner have merry on common wealth, God is watching!

Lastly, Hon. Celestine Nwali is hereby challenged to refute those

claims stated herein and take further step to declare his assets and

liabilities before 2007  and now . He should tell Ebonyians how  a man

like him who was staying in an uncompleted building for a decade in a

passing of four years became stupendously rich. He should be bold

enough to tell  Ebonyi peole how he made hiscash that he is not just a

property owner but seriouely into the business of estates and choice

property properties even in Dubai. In Abakalik!   i alone Cele has

edifices over nine hundred million naira. He should tell Ebonyians how

and when hemade themoney to build those estates within the vicinity of

phoenix hotels , Ogbaga road mgbukube Abakaliki and . What of the

multi billion naira factory at Emene near Enugu. And why he should not

becompelled to return those funds to the peoples  of the various

Iocal Government Areas. Good bless Ebonyi State and help Ebonyians

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