By Chidiebere Onyemaizu
Apart from bringing bad publicity to Senator Hope Uzodinma representing Imo West (Orlu Senatorial District) in the Nigerian Senate, Engineer Innocent Ikpamezie’s arrest has led to the unearthing of the untold story surrounding the Senator’s recent defection from his party to the ruling party.
Essentially, having lost grip and structure of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Imo state and faced with uncertain political future, The Source was informed that Senator Uzodinma’s defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC was a function of promises made to him by Imo APC stakeholders opposed to Governor Rochas Okorocha to the effect that he would be allowed unfettered control of the party in Imo West Senatorial zone and some local governments in Owerri zone in furtherance of his 2019 gubernatorial ambition or in the worst case scenario achieve effortless return to the Senate.
It was gathered that it was in the spirit of this that Ikpamezie, Special Adviser to Senator Uzodinma on Electoral Matters was allegedly an active participant in the stealing of electoral materials meant for the May 5th APC ward congress in Imo. Ikpamezie’s arrest and subsequent parade, alongside three others involved in the heist prompted hot denial from his principal, Senator Uzodinma.
However, National Assembly source close to the embattled Ikpamezie has expressed sadness and regret over the Senator’s denial of his Aide, likening the situation to the denial of Jesus by his trusted Apostle, Peter.
Paraded alongside Engineer Ikpamezie by Force Headquarters Abuja, were Lawrence Archibong, Kelechi Affonne and Joseph Martins. Force Public Relations Officer, Assistance Police Commissioner (ACP) Jimoh Moshood said the suspects were arrested and paraded for criminal conspiracy, forgery, theft and unlawful possession of electoral materials meant for the APC Imo ward congress.
Items found on them, according to ACP Moshood, include 68 APC ward congress result sheets, six APC Local government result sheets, six APC ward officers and delegates list and 130 APC delegates’ nomination forms.
Ikpamezie and his accomplices were nabbed at Seredib Hotel, Wuse, Abuja while manipulating and entering data into result sheets for the congress for six local government areas in Imo: Ikeduru, Ahiazu Mbaise, Ngor-Okpala, Owerri West, Owerri Municipal and Mbaitolu. Engineer Ikpamezie, described by the police as “the principal suspect”, allegedly revealed that the materials were handed over to him by Dr.Iyke Njoku, Zonal coordinator, Owerri Municipality to Senator Uzodinma.