– Reappointed as T.C Chairman
– Allegedly prosecutes case with council fund
Ahead of the scheduled January 31st 2018, ruling, on the default judgment given against Community Watchdog Newspaper, by an Owerri High Court, for which the Newspaper outfit, had through their lawyer Prof. Francis Dike (SAN), filed a motion, praying the honourable court to set aside the judgment, which according to him, was not given on it’s merit. Besides, the company has paid all default fees and complied with all necessary issues in respect of the matter.
A source close to government house availed that Chief Uche Nwosu’s lawyer, one Pascal Onwukaike’s reappointment as T.C Chairman of Nkwerre local government council was aimed at adequately empowering him financially to continue prosecuting the case with council funds, even when the office he occupies as T.C Chairman is illegal and alien to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The source further revealed that, Barr. Onwukaike while recently, interacting with some of his colleagues, boasted that as far as he is concerned, the matter is a closed one because, he is optimistic that the default judgment will not be set aside. He also said that they are doing everything possible to ensure that the matter is not heard on it’s merit, “because they are scared of the overwhelming evidence against them”.
It will be recalled that, on the 10th of December 2015, the police invaded the Owerri office of Community Watchdog Newspaper and arrested the publisher, Comrade Precious Nwadike and some of Watchdog staff, for the publication, on how a Togolese cook, attached to the Chief of Staff, Chief Uche Nwosu, allegedly absconded with a huge sum of money, said to be part of the bailout fund, released to Imo state by the federal government for the payment of accumulated arrears of salary and pension to civil servants and pensioners in the state respectively.
The alleged disappearance of the money is also said to have led to the non-payment of these statutory emoluments till date. Hence the pensioners have been subjected to series of deceitful and fruitless verification exercises, despite the fact that most of them worked and earned salary for 35 years and their files and records are supposed to be intact, with or without verification, because civil service which is an integral part of government is a continuum.
The Watchdog Newspapers have, since the said publication, been enmeshed in series of litigations, harassment and all kinds of intimidation by agents of government. First, was a matter instituted in an Owerri magistrate court, on behalf of the Chief of Staff, by one Barr. Eddy Onyema. The matter was initially handled by lawyers from the legal department of the Imo state police command, till they applied for and got fiat, which enabled them to hire and draft Barr Onyema into the matter, while Watchdog Newspaper hired the services of the Owerri based fire brand human rights lawyer and activist, Barr. Ngozi Olehi. While the above was still subsisting, they instituted another matter at an Owerri high court, presided over by Hon. Justice Chikeka.
Then, in view of the way and manner, the police invaded Watchdog Newspaper office and manhandled the workers, management of the company, instituted a case of violation of fundamental human rights.
It is therefore obvious that the litany of court cases on the same subject matter is aimed at frustrating and ultimately grounding the Newspaper, and ensure it goes out of circulation.