Open Letter: Your physical assault of Ikenna Samuelson
Dear Governor Ikedi Ohakim, I write this letter to you in reaction to the wailings and lamentations of one Mr. Ikenna Samuelson who got in touch with me in respect of the physical assault you unleashed on him on
Thursday, January 21, 2010. I know it is so convenient for politicians like you to quickly point to “political enemies” when you are publicly engaged on thorny issues. But you cannot bath with petrol and stay close to fire when your enemies are around. In other words, you also have a duty to act decently and in tandem with the laws of the land so as not to arm your political opponents. As for myself, my duty here is purely in pursuit of my well-acknowledged passion for human rights activism and equality; I am not a politician, nor am I a card carrying member of any political party.
The events which has prompted this letter to you are lucidly captured by the said Ikenna Samuelson in his heart-rending e-mail to me. The summary is that he wrote several petitions against you to the House of Assembly of Imo State, calling for a probe of your administration or maladministration. He also made the issues he raised against you public by pasting them on the internet. Instead of responding to the allegations, you sent a team of policemen in your convoy to arrest Ikenna Samuleson. This they did and they brought him to your office on the 1st of January, 2010. What followed can better be appreciated by reading directly from the victim's e-mail he circulated thereafter:
Samuelson was taken away and on your orders detained till the 25th of January, 2010, charged to court and remanded in Owerri Prisons! The charges are as ridiculous as the physical assault in you office. The eight-count charge accused Samuelson of publishing “falsehood” and thereby “bringing the Imo State Governor into public ridicule and hatred!”
Chief Ikedi Ohakim, you may think that because you enjoy immunity under the Constitution, you may get away with this kind of atrocity. But your immunity is only temporary. And there are other measures to bring you to book, even now!
Consequently, we are sending this open letter to the House of Assembly, Imo State, as notice to them of your barbaric actions, and to see if they can muster forth the courage and political will to investigate you and commence impeachment proceedings against you.
Also, a copy of this letter has been sent to the Inspector-General of Police and State Security Services to investigate you in line with the decision of the Supreme Court in Fawehinmi v. I.G. (2002)7 NWLR (pt 767) 606 and keep the report pending when you leave office as Governor, by which time you would have lost your immunity. Remember that men of yesterday are in prison today. I also intend to test the law as to how far we can take the concept of immunity vis-à-vis the commission and/or perpetration of such heinous crimes by a sitting public officer ringed with immunity. Thus expect my court papers soon!
Should all of these fail, I wish to inform you that I will patiently wait for you to climb down from your Olympian height as Governor (no matter how long it takes) to begin civil and criminal proceedings against you.
May I also remind you that, as a public officer, you can have recourse to civil actions for defamation against your person instead of descending to this ignominious level.
I rest my case.
Yours Sincerely, FESTUS KEYAMO, ESQ.Head of Chambers
1. Inspector-General of Police
2. Director,State Security Service (SSS).
3. Imo State House of Assembly.
Thursday, February 11, 2010.