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I Didn’t Bribe Police To Release Murder Suspect —Okowa

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa denies financially inducing the Police to facilitate the release of a murder suspect.
The Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, has denied financially inducing the Police to facilitate the release of a murder suspect, one Innocent Esewiezie from the police custody.
Last week, there were allegations that Okowa bribed the Police in the state, especially the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Celestina Kalu, to release the suspect who played certain role leading to the death of one Emeka Onianwa during the 2015 general elections in the state.
The allegations that went viral implicated the Governor and the PPRO in the release of Esewezie, but Okowa, speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagu, said the report being circulated in a section of the media was false and unfounded.
The statement made available to journalists reads in part, “Governor Okowa did not order the release of anybody charged for alleged murder. The allegation is at best, a figment of the very futile imagination of the authors, fueled as it were, by the rabid animosity of the authors to Senator Okowa.
“The report is being circulated by people who have penchant for willfully maligning political office holders who they consider as belonging to persuasions other than their approved, yet hypocritical “Progressive Elements”, but more so those who appear un-amenable to their whims and capricious.
“We were also guided by Sahara Reporters proven personal and unprovoked disdain for the person of Governor Okowa as evidenced by the catalogue of malicious publications against him even before he was popularly elected as the Chief Executive of Delta State”.
Okowa said the allegation also portrayed the police as being spineless, unprofessional and willing appendage of the state governor, noting that it shows the police as “not really representative of the Nigeria Police which we know is independent of the state governor, very professional in the discharge of its duties and highly disciplined”.
To be sure, the Governor said he “has not, and will not do anything that is capable of obstructing the cause of justice in any criminal matter, talk less of a murder inquiry, noting that the “allegation is at best another futile effort by some persons working in cohort with, and riding on the platform enthusiastically provided by Sahara Reporters to impugn the image and integrity of an innocent man and district him from implementing his prosperity agenda for Deltans”.
In a similar vein, the Police Public Relations Officer, Celestina Kalu, said the case had been transferred to the Force Headquarters in Abuja, noting that she is not an investigating officer and as such she cannot decide the release of a murder suspect.
According to her, as Public Relations Officer of the Delta State Police Command, her role has nothing to do with investigation of cases as that is reserved for the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Force.

Omos Oyinbode, Asaba

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