Chief Onu Nweze, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Ebonyi South Senatorial Zone, has accused Gov. Dave Umahi of stifling the opposition in the state.
Nweze made the accusation in Enugu and alleged that some thugs suspected to be hirelings of Gov. Umahi assaulted him and caused him grievous body harm.
He alleged that Umahi had on Saturday stormed his Uburu country home in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state with a long motorcade and thugs ostensibly to kill him.
“It all happened around 2:20pm on Saturday after the presidential and National Assembly elections had been cancelled.
“I was in my house with some of my kinsmen when some soldiers and a few civilians walked into my compound with a brother of the governor, Maxwell Umahi, and one Innocent Igwe among others.
“This is the same Igwe that was granted amnesty by the governor and released from jail where he was serving his term for murder.
“I requested that they leave my compound and they went outside while the soldiers searched my compound,” he said.
Nweze said that in order not to endanger the lives of his guests who had come to sympathise with him following the postponement of the elections, he decided to go outside with the men.
“It was at this point that I saw the governor in a white bus without tinted glass giving instructions to his boys.
“Another group of thugs wanted to enter my house on the instructions of the governor and in an attempt to resist them the governor’s ADC slapped me,” he said.
The APC senatorial candidate said that the men descended on him and gave him the beating of his life while the governor watched.
He said that the Divisional Police Officer in Obiozara put him and his brother on handcuff while blood flower from his body and whisked them away to the police station.
Nweze said that it took the intervention of the Commissioner of Police in the state to rescue him and he was subsequently moved to Abakaliki to make his statements.
He said that he decided to brief the press in Enugu after his subsequent release as the state government had compromised journalists in Ebonyi.
“As a candidate, I have no problem with the governor. So, Nigerians should ask him why he wants me dead to the extent of supervising this attack on me.
“We are from the same senatorial zone and I did not even campaign in his Ohaozara West just to avoid problem with him,” he said.
Nweze said that members of the opposition parties had been at the receiving end of the governor’s cruelty.
“In the course of my campaign, my vehicle was attacked and the windscreen shattered by the governor’s agents,” he alleged.
Nweze said that he was putting up petition to the military high command, Inspector General of Police and the Department of State Security (DSS).
The brother to the victim, Mr Onu Odi, said that the incident was part of the fulfillment of the threat to crush the opposition in the state.
Onu said that the incident was a case of attempted murder on his uncle.
“I was also attacked when I attempted to know the reason for attacking my uncle. I was tear-gassed and bundled into the governor’s private security vehicle and moved to Ohaozara,” he said.
When contacted, Emmanuel Uzor, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Umahi dismissed the purported attack as `a mere allegation that did not hold water’.
Uzor described Nweze as “an unknown political quantity who is playing out the script of those that want to be governor. They want to be governor yet denigrating the office of the governor,” he said.
He described the allegations against Umahi as false, adding that the governor was too busy to descend so low and go after people like Nweze.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ebonyi Command, Mrs Loveth Odah confirmed the attack on Nweze.
Odah, however, said that the identity of the assailants was yet to be known, adding that investigations were ongoing.
She said that the victim was receiving medical attention.