–      Wanted by Abuja police 

In what may be described as a typical case of the hunter being hunted, the Chairman of the Governing Council of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, Chief Innocent Eke, at whose instance, Dr Desmond Echeta, former Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Imopoly Chapter was arrested and detained recently, is alleged to have gone into hiding, as he is presently wanted by the top echelon of the Police in Abuja, alongside one D.C Duru, to substantiate the allegation of plot to kidnap and attempted murder they leveled against Echeta and Dr Kingsley Ikebudu, a lecturer in one of the institutions in Anambra State.

According to an insider source who pleaded anonymity, “the duo were invited for interrogation by the Abuja police on the 10th of June, 2020, but they did not show up and all efforts to reach them uptill now, has been futile, as they are said to have gone into hiding, to evade arrest. Hence the police is said to be contemplating issuing a bench warrant on them”.

It was gathered that their invitation by the police in Abuja is hinged on alleged misrepresentation of facts and attempt to blackmail, contained in a counter petition addressed to the police high command in Abuja by Kingsley Ikebudu, who former Governor Rochas Okorocha appointed substantive Rector of the Polytechnic before he left office.

It would be recalled that Dr Echeta, as ASUP Chairman fought relentlessly against injustice, oppression, intimation, financial recklessness, anti-staff and obnoxious policies of the Rev Fr (Dr) Wence Madu led management of the Polytechnic, hence “the alleged plot to frustrate, sideline and relegate him to the background with trumped up charges and fabricated reports that lack substance in a bid to blackmail him”, said our source.

It will also be recalled that the Watchdog Newspaper on page 5 of it’s May 26th, 2020, edition reported that the police had invited the former ASUP Chairman, Echeta over spurious allegation of plot to kidnap, among others, The Watchdog report also hinted that Echeta’s predicament is not unconnected with his principled and unwavering stand against the evil, retrogressive and repressive schemes and devices of the management when he was ASUP Chairman, hence “they want to deal with him, now that his tenure as ASUP Chairman has elapsed”.

The publication in Watchdog Newspaper, also quoted a source who accused Innocent Eke, a former lawmaker who represented Owerri West state constituency in the legislature of masterminding Echeta’s travails, and using their contacts in the Imo State Police Command to allegedly frame him up with false and non-existent plot to kidnap, as a way of frustrating him, petitioned the top echelon of the police in Abuja, hence the invitation of Eke and Duru to come and substantiate their porous allegation with facts and evidence.

Some members of the academic community who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity are also “wondering why Eke and his cohorts waited till the emergence of Hope Uzodinma as Governor before alerting the police of the plot to kidnap and attempted murder, considering the fact that Njoku who was appointed Acting Rector, was in office for seven (7) months before he was removed by Governor Uzodinma”.

There are also allegations that, upon the emergence of Senator Hope Uzodinma as Governor, “Innocent Eke and his cohorts approached Kingsley Ikebundu with whom Echeta is being maligned and attacked to provide the sum of N2 million, for them to press necessary buttons and facilitate his becoming a substantive Rector, but he refused. “Thereafter, they became infuriated and embittered”.

Members of the academic community and indeed interested Imo people are keenly watching the unfolding developments with the firm belief that justice will prevail, as the lecturers of Imopoly have vowed to stand solidly behind Echeta and Ikebundu in their resolve to resist institutionalized corruption, oppression, intimidation and the jack boot syndrome, because according to them, “if the cankerworm is not checked and nipped in the bud, it could be any of us tomorrow”.

Effort to reach Chief Eke,chairman of Imopoly governing council was unsuccessful as he did not take his calls or reply text message sent to his mobile phone.

Similarly,speaking with Dr Ikebudu,he confirmed that the duo of Eke and Duru are on the wanted list of the Abuja police for attempting to malign and set him up.