RE: REJOINDER TO PUBLICATION WITH THE HEADING “AMICHI ASKS BUHARI, IGP TO CALL UMEOFIA TO ORDER”
Our attention has been drawn to the story posted on an online media platform, odogwublog.com by Odogwu Media Communication Limited which has now been circulated by other online websites and blogging groups. We wouldn’t have dignified it with a response if not that the publication is laced with inaccuracies, fabrications, half-truths and blatant lies.We are however constrained to respond on account of the implications of the allegations on the integrity of Chief Eric Umeofia in particular and Ebenator Okpala, Amichi as a community in general. It is also important to reaffirm Chief Eric Umeofia’s long-standing commitment to the development of human capital in Amichi and the Nation at large. Chief Eric Umeofia has never wavered in his resolve to improve the lot of an average Amichi person and his philanthropy is legendary.
We wish to state that Chief Eric Umeofia has over the years been at the forefront of the clamour for the development of Ebenator Okpala community and Amichi town as exemplified by the numerous infrastructural development he embarked upon as well as the massive number of beneficiaries of his scholarship endowment and periodic empowerment in the community not to talk of the number of Amichi indigenes in his employment.It is rather reprehensible for anyone to suggest that Chief Eric Umeofia can do anything that will retard the growth and development of the town but the writers, Francis Onyeuno Okafor and co. in their haste to impress their criminal and jealous paymasters who have never contributed any tangible thing towards the development of Amichi rushed to press without verifying some of the lies they spewed in the said publication.
We make bold to say that we are proud of the achievements of our son, Chief Eric Umeofia who has contributed immeasurably towards the development of Ebenator Okpala, Amichi in particular and the Nation in general. Building Erisco Foods Limited, the largest tomato producing company in Africa and fourth largest in the whole world is no mean feat and goes a long way to show the business dynamism of Chief Eric Umeofia which we are all direct or indirect beneficiaries. We will not sit back and watch a few disgruntled and jealous criminal elements destroy the goodwill and reputation that Chief Eric Umeofia has built over the years globally.
We are not aware of any division in Ebenator Okpala community in Amichi and can confidently tell you without fear of contradictions that Chief Sampson Okafor is the current President General of Ebenator Okpala community while Chukwudi Okeke is the Chairman of Ebenator Okpala Development Union, Lagos Branch. The claim by Francis Okafor and Emeka Muoneme as President of Ebenator Okpala Development Union and Chairman of Ebenator Okpala Development Union, Lagos Branch respectively is ridiculous and condemnable as it is aimed at bringing division to the peaceful community.
The matter Ebenator Okpala Community and Amichi Development Union have with Francis Okafor is under listed for clarity.The Nigeria Police Force, Zone 2 Headquarters Lagos on Wednesday September 26, 2018 arraigned Chief Francis Onyeuno Okafor (66) and others now at large before an Igbosere Magistrate Court on a three-count charge of conspiracy to commit felony to wit: Conspiracy to defraud, conduct likely to cause breach of peace by imposing levies on members of Ebenator Okpala Development Union Amichi, Lagos Branch as well as forging the signature and inserting the picture of Chief Eric Umeofia as one of the Board of Trustees in the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) registration document of Ebenator Okpala Development Union Amichi, Lagos Branch without his consent and uses same to defraud unsuspecting members of the Union which was published in The Sun Newspapers of Monday October 1, 2018.
The accused, Chief Francis Onyeuno Okafor was thereafter granted bail by the Magistrate in the most liberal terms with the sum of One Hundred Thousand Naira with one surety in like sum, who must be a taxpayer and have a verifiable means of livelihood. But the writers acting the script of their criminal paymasters maliciously wrote that ”the magistrate delayed the pronouncement of bail for Chief Francis Okafor until he has spent three days in custody” which was a lie from the pit of hell. Our guess is that Chief Francis Okafor and his cohorts want to use the publication to blackmail the Magistrate from making sure that justice is served.
The genesis of the problem was when Francis Okafor was asked by the entire members of the community to account for his stewardship and submit Ebenator Okpala Community documents in his possession since he has ceased to be the President of the Union for over ten years which he refused and was using same to criminally obtain money from unsuspecting members of the union in connivance with his sponsors.
It is important to state that Francis Okafor and his sponsors excommunicated themselves from the town meeting because the community refused to do their bidding and Francis Okafor resorted to using the same Ebenator Okpala in his business of defrauding people. It was in the course of the challenge that the meeting discovered that Francis Okafor criminally ascribed to himself the Chairman of Board of Trustees of Ebenator Okpala development union and in line with perfecting the act, he criminally forged the signature and inserted the photograph of Chief Eric Umeofia, as a member of the Board of Trustees without his consent.
It is imperative to also state that Chief Eric Umeofia has no personal problem with Francis Okafor except Chief Umeofia’s support for the current Executives who insisted that he should return all the community documents with him and stop using his name to defraud people as well as to stop parading himself as the President of Ebenator Okpala development Union. Of greater importance is that Chief Umeofia has not set his eyes on Francis Okafor in the last eight years because of his penchant for criminality.
Ebenator Okpala is the first son of Amichi and we know who means well for the community. Let us list a few of the past criminal activities of Francis Okafor: As President of Ebenator Okpala Development Union which he has ceased to be over ten years ago, Francis Okafor embezzled over two million Naira of the union funds without trace and the matter has not been thrashed as we speak. The same Francis Okafor embezzled over One Million Naira as Treasurer of Amichi Town Union, Lagos Branch. Chief Eric Umeofia in his magnanimity and quest to maintain peace in the union as well as protect the image of Ebenator Okpala Community gave Francis Okafor the money to pay back which he failed and refused to pay till date. The matter and many others are yet to be resolved.We don’t intend to bore you with the unwholesome attitude of Francis Okafor rather the intention is to keep the records straight.
Francis Okafor in his inordinate desire to fabricate lies against Chief Eric Umeofia mentioned a rift between Emmanuel Umeohia and Chief Eric Umeofia whereas it was Chief Emmanuel Umeohia’s greed that is causing all the problem. Francis Okafor displayed his ignorance of criminal justice administration when he alleged that Chief Umeofia has abandoned all the criminal matters against Chief Emmanuel Umeohia whereas all the contending issues are ongoing in various courts of the land.
For purpose of clarity, Emmanuel Umeohia has refused to account for the wealth of their father that he sits on since the death of their father in 1984 and all attempts to get him to account for their father’s wealth that he holds in trust for all of them failed. He resorted to blackmail and supporting evil against his siblings with a view to deter them from seeking their birth right but they have resolved to use all legal means to get their birth right as the matter is already in court. So, Chief Eric Umeofia has no regrets whatsoever till justice is done and no amount of intimidation and blackmail will ever stop him from getting his birthright from Emmanuel Umeohia who we suspect to be the sponsor of this evil publication.
Interestingly, Mr. Offorbike Ezeoke the suspected co-sponsor of this malicious publication threatened and sent a warning notice to Chief Eric Umeofia via Emmanuel Umeohia in 2014 that he was opposing his ambition of becoming the traditional ruler of Amichi town. Incidentally, Chief Eric Umeofia was attacked two days after by some hired assassins at Lekki toll gate and the matter was reported to the police. Thereafter, Chief Eric Umeofia wrote a petition to the Inspector General of Police who approved the investigation but the so-called Mr. Offorbike Ezeoke ran to America and was sending emissaries to beg and plead with Chief Eric Umeofia to drop the case since he survived. Chief Eric Umeofia reluctantly didn’t follow up with the matter for the interest of peace but the issue will have to be revisited for justice to be served.
We make bold to state that Chief Eric Umeofia loves Amichi and its people. It’s on record that Chief Eric Umeofia has trained over one hundred graduates in the town more than anyone else. Chief Umeofia has equally empowered more people in the town than anyone else for over thirty years running. Without sounding immodest, some of Chief Eric Umeofia’s contribution to the development of the town will suffice; he singlehandedly built Ebenator Okpala Community hall; renovated most of the dilapidated primary and secondary schools in Amichi; he is currently building an Anglican Church in the town single handedly; Chief Eric Umeofia equally built the Obi Amichi House and paid N5,000.00 to aged people in Ebenator Okpala community; he also built over fifteen houses/buildings for indigent families in the town and many more. We challenge the writer to point and mention a single and meaningful contribution their sponsors have made towards the development of Amichi town. These claims can be attested to by past and present Presidents of Amichi Development Union and the various beneficiaries. Chief Eric Umeofia is a very humble and contented person that has never and will never use the opportunity that God gave him to intimidate anybody rather the intimidators are not happy that he challenged them because they always see themselves as small gods.
Without prejudice to the ongoing criminal trial of Francis Okafor and his cohorts, we implore him to assemble his evidence and witnesses and bring them to the court rather than trying to malign, cajole and blackmail the court from speedy adjudication of the matter and possible conviction.
We have noted that all the allegations are consistent with previous attacks on Chief Eric Umeofia’s person over his insistence that Ebenator Okpala Community in particular and Amichi in general must be sanitized and criminal elements excommunicated. Despite the attacks, Chief Eric Umeofia, (Ikuku Oma Amichi) will remain resolute in the pursuit of the truth and development of Amichi regardless of any attempt to distract his intentions for the good of the town.
Chief Sampson Okafor Elder Theophilus Anumba Chukwudi Okeke
President, Ebenator Okpala, Secretary, Ebenator Okpala Chairman, Ebenator Okpala,
Amichi Development Union. Amichi Development Union Amichi, Lagos Branch.