First, it was the presidential adviser on prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla that fired the shot towards his representative in the House of Representatives, Bassey Ewah, accusing him of sponsoring a suspected cultist that killed his nephew. The lawmaker has decided to fire back. He told TNN in this interview that only someone who needed the attention of a psychiatric doctor could make such a sweeping allegations.
Your brother and friend, the Special Adviser to the president on prosecution, Okoi Obono- Obla mentioned you as one of those who allegedly sponsored the cultist killed his nephew.
Okoi should not be allowed in the public because very soon he would cause problems for the good government of President Buhari. I have lived a very quiet and responsible life, I have served my people and he happens to be one of my constituents. I have served them loyally and respectfully. I am not a cult member, I live as a Christian and I have never been associated with any cult activities. Perhaps the much I know about the gentleman you are referring to is that he is one of our PDP stalwarts who is in APC and it has been my tradition that if any of our family members that is a PDP member or even if not a PDP member, any of my constituents that needs my assistance, it is my responsibility to stand in for that person. If you are bereaved, I send a cow and N50, 000 or whatever I am able to give. Some N100, 000 and some N200, 000. If you are wedding and you invite me, I do same- I send a cow to help you carry out what you are doing. This is what happened in this case. I got a call from my liaison officer that one of our supporters is getting married. I said okay, can you see how we would assist him? I sent him money and I sent him a cow for his wedding, and he wedded on a Saturday. The said event, I am not from Ugep, I am from Ekori but I am representing the whole of Yakurr where Ugep is the headquarters, where of course Obono- Obla comes from. The said event took place on a Saturday and a cow you gave on a Thursday and they killed the cow on Friday to enable them prepare for the wedding, what bearing does it have with an event that took place on Tuesday or Wednesday? Let me place it on record- I don't think this is the best way to fight your political opponent. If you are strong and you know you have the followership of your people, you should be able to face them and win me in the field if that is what your desire, not passing through the backdoor to try to malign and destroy my person for what I have no knowledge about. It is on record that Okoi Obono- Obla was rusticated in the University of Jos.
What record do you have because he has challenged you on that, in fact he has even threatened that if I publish that he was going to take us to court.
I am very ready- I am even taking him to court on what I saw here. So if he is going to court- you have interviewed me and you have interviewed him, you write what I say, I am not running away from the facts. If you school in Mary knoll Ogoja with a different name and today you are answering a different name and that is the name you went to University of Jos to study sociology with, and you were rusticated in your second year and you are going back to that school to read law- a different certificate, a different name, how does that go, when did you change your name?
What name did he use at Mary Knoll?
Okoi Obono- Obla
But that is his name now?
That is the point I am making- let him show us his certificate that bears that name. He should show us his degree and law school that bears that name. These are facts. It is not enough to swear affidavit of change of name when already there is an existing document to the fact that you went to the university to study sociology with a different name.
What name was that?
He started sociology with Okoi Obono- Obla and that is his name the one he finished from Mary Knoll Ogoja with. Now he is Ofem Obono Obla and that is why he is adding Okoi hyphen Ofem Obono Obla. So you will be proving to me that you didn't change your name- affidavit does not mean everything you said is right. We are both lawyers.
He has also said that he is surprised that you as a lawyer would be saying that he was rusticated from the university
But he was. He was studying sociology and he was asked to withdraw- you are sent out.
No, it doesn't mean he was rusticated
He wrote about me, and if I am doing a rejoinder, I will say what I feel like saying if he feels bad about it he will take me to court, it is not you, he would be challenging me. 'Did you say this, I said yes, I said it'. He should be bold enough to say yes I said it. Your paper has nothing to do with it- it is only when I said I did not grant that interview, I didn't say so, that he can now say how you got your evidence, why did you write this? But in this case, since you called me for this interview, let us do it the way it should be done. You are writing what I said in reply to what he said. I said he was rusticated from University of Jos when he was studying sociology
In his second year
Do you have documents from the University of Jos to show that he was actually rusticated?
It might be when we go to court we will subpoena University of Jos, department of sociology to come and tell us when he was rusticated and will also subpoena faculty of law, University of Jos, to tell us the name he went to school with. I will subpoena Mary Knoll to come and tell us he finished from there, what was his name when he graduated. Then he will tell us when he got the second name that appeared in law and in his certificates- these are facts.
Let us go back to the main issue
The main issue is that I am not a cultist, I am not sponsoring cultism in Yakurr. Fortunately, I am not from Ugep, the Obol Lopon of Ugep cannot be housing somebody I will buy guns to go and kill. Obol Lopon of Ugep, where he comes, and for your information, I hear that he( Obol Lopon) invited all the sons and daughters of Ugep to a meeting in Ugep and in that meeting he (Obono Obla) was chastised seriously and he refused to attend. Everybody condemned what he wrote about the Obol Lopon and about me, trying to malign me innocently for his own political reasons. For your information, this is not the first time he has been trying it- when I came on board, he alleged funny things about me that I and the Minister of Niger Delta, Usani Usani killed one Iwara Iwara. I have a petition here they wrote from his office and this is not how politics should be played. He should be able to say issues the way they are.
What do you think is the problem between you and Obono- Obla?
I don't think I have any problem with him apart from the fact that he is in APC and I am in PDP. Secondly, perhaps it might be he hates my person, he thinks he cannot work with me or he doesn't just feel I should be who God wants me to be. I should be where I am, nothing more than that. I have absolutely nothing against him. The Obol Lopon of Ugep, where he comes from cannot be housing a cultist. If he is housing a cultist then there is a problem in their community and that has nothing to do with me. He is not the first person I have assisted to either do wedding or burial of his loved one that passed on. I do it. In fact today, about three in the same community and I can't stop doing it. So if he (Obla) is planning to contest an election, let him do it politely without trying to malign or blackmail somebody who is innocent about what is going on. For your information, I don't know the guy you are talking about. If I see him, I will pass I will not recognize him. I got a call that they were coming to search my house in Abuja, that the guy ran from Ugep to my house in Abuja and I have been waiting and I have not seen anybody.
The petition he has written to the Cross River State governor is that security agencies at all levels should invite you for questioning to uncover your role in the activities of this alleged cultist. Are you willing to give up yourself to the police for investigations on this?
I am a law abiding citizen of this country and by his grace three times member of the House of Representatives, former speaker of Cross River, former majority leader of Cross River State. We are from the same local government area. I have a personality. If your hands are dirty, you will be afraid of invitation to the police- I go to the police regularly they are my friends. They are not there to kill; they are there to do the right thing. Of course if you are writing to the commissioner of police, the Inspector-General of Police, the DSS, they have every fact about me. I am sure, I am very convinced that DSS in Cross River knows everything about what is going. If perhaps I have in any way tried to compromise myself, I would have been invited to make statements. For now, I have not been invited. If they invite me, I will go. I am not afraid of anything. My hands are clean, his (Obla) hands are not clean; that is why he is running away from facts. I am saying today, if Okoi said because they killed his cousin he would petition somebody who is not there, he should go on but first thing first. If you don't want any of your siblings to be destroyed, you try to bring them up in a proper way. My dear brother, I am serving a living God, I have given my life to Christ, I don't have a security man anywhere, I drive my car alone, I do what I need to do alone because he that I am serving is stronger than any other thing, stronger than any force you can think about. It is them that are scared because of what they are doing, they carry policemen around. I don't need it. If they invite me my dear brother I will go there but I am aware that the police in Cross River state know who Okoi Obono Obla is and know who he associates himself with. I respect the law and I can never go against what is expected of a man like me-I have children and I am bringing them up well so that they will not be cultists, so that they won't be rusticated from school, from the university. I finished in Unical; I finished in Nigerian Law School, Abuja. I didn't repeat in the law school, I wasn't rusticated in Unical. Why was he rusticated in UNIJOS? I said here and I want it on record- whatever I say is a fact. He (Obono Obla) is a psycho patient.
That is a serious allegation
He is a psycho patient and I am serious about what I said. In fact, he needs to be re-examined by a psychiatric doctor. If you are normal you won't be doing sweeping allegations against people- I am not in Calabar, he is a lawyer, I am not in Ugep, he is a lawyer, I am not in Ekori, he is a lawyer and he knows that. I didn't attend the occasion I don't know what is going on, I am not from his community, I don't know anything about it.
The allegation is that you are the one arming the guy because of your political ambition
Has he given you photos or receipt of where I bought the guns from and how I was handing over the guns to them? You were asking me if I have evidence- does he have any evidence himself? All the names I read in the petition, I don't know any of them, I don't. They may know me because I have been in public office for long, I don't know them. Have you arrested anyone and he said it is Hon. Bassey Ewa that bought this gun and gave to me? My brother, isn't that an attribute of a psycho patient? It is.
When you say he is a psycho patient, have you examined him to be sure that he is a psycho patient?
He is making sweeping allegations; I shouldn't say how I feel about him? He is saying I am sponsoring cultist so I am saying he is a psycho patient. If he is not a psycho patient, how would he be fighting somebody who is innocent? You know what you are alleging is not true, you are just out to blackmail. You have never won one case since they appointed you prosecutor- you are losing all fraud cases and you are busy in the television talking about law that you don't even know. You were rusticated in UNIJOS; you failed in Nigerian law school. I didn't fail even when I was combining that with politics- I still passed, I made a 2:2.
You said he failed in law school?
He repeated. You are asking me how, if you fail you fail. How do I describe how somebody failed in law school? If you fail that means you will repeat, I didn't repeat. They have never killed any of my relatives in cult related offences; if they killed his own nephew, it is the way he brought him up. It is time for him (Obla) to go and treat himself- I am inviting him to my church to heal him of that madness in his head, he is sick.
Are you people quarreling because he has a senatorial ambition and you also have a senatorial ambition
My dear brother I don't know. If he has senatorial ambition and he feels I have, he is free to play his politics in a more civilized and polite manner. I respect his person but I regret his character because he is a pathological liar. You don't keep framing up people that you know what you are saying is not true- if that is what he is fighting, tell him it is not yet time, he should wait when the time comes. If he wins beautiful, if my party gives me ticket and I win beautiful. We don't have to dissipate our energy on the things we know are not correct and right. I am not from Ugep, he is from Ugep; I am from Ekori but from the same local government area. I will be the very last person to buy a gun or a machete and give to somebody's child to go and kill, and do things that are inimical to human life. I am born again I can never do it. It is not my lifestyle, it has never been.