As police step up efforts to unravel the circumstances that led to the killing of an only child, late Ahamefula Maduabuchukwu who was before his gruesome murder, the supervisor for Youths and Sports in Isu local government area of Imo State, one Mr Smith Stanley Nwama said to be an errand boy to one of the murder suspects, Chief Henry Ihejiuba has threatened to close down Community Watchdog Newspaper if the media outfit continues to publish stories on the matter. He is angry that the newspaper has consistently and fearlessly exposed the evil deeds of his paymaster.
The said Smith Nwama whose source of livelihood is not known to the media outfit, recently sent a message to a staff of the Watchdog, daring the Newspaper to publish any other story on Okeosisi and have the Newspaper house closed in any way he and others who are on the employ of Okeosisi could. He also boasted that Okeosisi is a big man, “no amount of blackmail will make him stay in jail for long. He will work his way out of the trouble. After all, in Nigeria money speaks, authorities obey”.
He further declared Watchdog staff as his enemy for failure to caution the editors of the Newspaper on why they should not publish any negative story even if his Principal committed the offence.
It was later gathered that Mr Smith Nwama is on the payroll of Okeosisi and was allegedly in a meeting where it was agreed that in order to disperse the protesters at Isu, some of their goons should be handed over guns to shoot at sight. What our source did not disclose is whether the said Nwama whom the source revealed to be an only child as well, was at the scene of the incident or participated in the shooting of the victims.
It will be recalled that on the 6th of January, 2020, suspended Local Government elected Chairmen and Councilors protested in Imo over their suspension, while other Local Government areas never recorded casualties or bloodshed. In Isu LGA, Maduabuchukwu was killed while others sustained serious bullet injuries and are still in the hospitals receiving medical treatment.
The ugly development has been likened to the gruesome murder of one Chief Joseph Iheze, allegedly at the instance of the traditional ruler of Umuakpu, who they said mobilized thugs to kill his brother after the deceased was accused of poisoning a kinsman, spiritually. Efforts made to have police arrest the Monarch proved abortive as he was said to have relatives who were in ex-governor Rochas Okorocha’s government. It was later confirmed that traditional ruler was arraigned for murder eventually.
Responding to the threat, the Editor of the Newspaper, Sir Bonny Ajuogu said, “as a media house, we are first responsible to the society before any other thing. As journalists, we report what we see. Those who feel aggrieved should approach the court. As for the threat, we are not moved. It is not the first time our media outfit has been threatened. We are only serving the public and owe them the duty of empowering them through unbiased reportage”.