Ex-Dep Gov image maker denies allegations, threatens legal action
Godswill Jumbo, former Chief Press Secretary to Rivers State Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, has dismissed allegations against him by his erstwhile boss of stealing government property as senseless, baseless and mischievous.
Jumbo had earlier accused Ikuru of ordering his abduction from his residence somewhere in Rumuigbo area of Port Harcourt on the night of Friday, May 8, 2015 and attempted assassination by his chief detail, Steve Abu, security detail to his wife, Mina Ikuru, Peter Obidigbo, both operatives of the State Security Service, SSS, who he alleged led a gang of thugs to his house.
According to a statement on Ikuru's behalf signed by one Ednah Alete, an Information Officer with State Ministry of Information, Jumbo was alleged to have been caught on CCTV footage stealing government property.
"I worked from June, 2008 to March 14, 2015 in the Office of the Deputy Governor. No case was raise against me. I was never reported to the Police anywhere that I committed any offence. No panel was set up to investigate me for any offence.
So if they have evidence against me how come they didn’t come up with it all of these while until an attempt was made on my life?
They said they have CCTV footage of me stealing government property. Does it make any sense? You have evidence of me stealing government property you never prosecuted me, you never reported me to the Police. Nothing of such ever happened.
From March 14 when you purportedly relieved me of my appointment to May 14, there is no incidented case in any Police Station anywhere in Nigeria against me for any offence. And all of a sudden you are bringing up cooked-up, funny, stupid stories that you have footage of me stealing government property. It doesn’t agree. If I catch you stealing, I raise an alarm, everybody gathers and we hand you over to the Police."
According to Jumbo, Ikuru, Edna Alete, and Special Adviser, Media to the Rivers State PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah, Jerry Needam, will face charges of libel and defamation of character over the said press statement.
"Well for the records I have decided that I am suing Tele Ikuru, Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Edna Alete, and Jerry Needam. I am suing them for libel, for defamation of character and for disparaging my hard-earned reputation. I am a decent person. It will only take an evil man. It will take an indecent man. It will take a thief, a very bad thief to call somebody like me a thief."
Furthermore, Ikuru's former image maker called on the State Commissioner of Information, Ibim Semenitari, the State Head of Service, Samuel Long-John, and the State Civil Service Commission to sanction Ednah Alete for breaching extant rules governing the conduct of civil servants in the State.
"The so-called press statement was signed by one Edna Alete, who incidentally is a mere Information Officer seconded from the State Ministry of Information to the Office of the Deputy Governor. And it is even curious that a civil servant serving under an APC-led government would be issuing a statement on behalf of a PDP Deputy Governor and circulated by Jerry Needam, the spokesman of the PDP, well known for incoherent public statements.
This shows clearly the new low the Civil Service has attained. Every civil servant serving in a government led by a political party should know his or her limits. That she could issue such a statement that calls to question her qualification and understanding of basic rules governing the service betrays the error of having her in the State Civil Service.
It also calls into question the intellectual capacity of the Deputy Governor himself that he could be portrayed in such an incoherent, mischievous and most intellectually debasing statement. Had he read through it before it was issued, he would have saved himself from such an embarrassing portrayal."
He accused the Deputy Governor of planning to doctor CCTV footages of his section of the Government House to frame him up since the allegation of stealing a car isn't selling.
"As for video footage, Government House as a high security facility where the Governor lives and works, is covered by surveillance cameras. And I have been working there since 2008 and obviously I will appear in footages but depending on who is managing which aspect, recordings could be doctored with modern video editing technology. Notwithstanding, we'll meet them wherever they want. I challenge them to make public their so called video evidence which I know they don't have.