South South, Nigeria: So much trouble for Dickson since Okah made the publication alleging Richard Etonye disappearing with $4.6 million belonging to the state government.
The former speech writer to former Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa state has been arrested by the Nigeria Police Force for allegedly carrying false information about Governor Seriake Dickson.
The state police command said Mr Jonah Okah was arrested for posting on Facebook that he had a conversation with the Government House Accountant, Richard Etonye, who confirmed to him that he had disappeared with $4.6 million belonging to the state government. The police spokesperson for the state, Asinim Butswat, said Okah, a lawyer, was arrested because of a petition written to the law enforcement agency by Etonye. Following the report that Etonye had absconded with the sum, policemen numbering over 50 on Tuesday, August 23 invaded his home, an action Dickson described as irresponsible and condemnable statement by Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Dickson’s chief press secretary.
The Punch reports that in the petition dated August 30, 2016,Etonye accused Okah of making a false allegation against him on a public platform. The petitioner stated: “I neither discussed with Okah as he claimed nor abscond with any money belonging to the Bayelsa state government. “I was with Governor Dickson at the time of Okah’s false allegation and I had travelled with my boss to Akure in Ondo state where he (Dickson) was the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party governorship primary election. “No conversation took place between Mr. Jonah Okah and myself. The whole story (allegation) is a figment of the author’s imagination, deliberately crafted to maliciously defame my person, character and ridicule my office.” While urging the police to investigate the claims by Okah, he further demanded an apology to be posted on the same medium through which his name was maligned.
Apart from this, Okah is to publish an apology letter in two national newspapers and two local newspapers with a copy addressed to Etonye’s professional body, the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria. Instead of apologising however, Okah, who is being detained in a cell at the state Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yenagoa, the state capital, has vowed to continue with criticising the government of Dickson.