The race for the Enugu Lion Building has long begun. The consultations, lobbying, horse trading and permutations have continued to play out at the background.
The issue of zoning is all but settled as politcial observers continue to monitor the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s body language.
But, Enugu East Zone, expecting to get the nod at the end of the day, have continued to roll out aspirants in preparation for the showdown.
One man stands out in this crowd of aspirants. He is Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa. The recently retired Federal Permanent Secretary could not refuse the urge, the call, the request by his Nkanu people to present himself for the guber race.
What started like the usual politcial cliche, where politicians arrange for people to beg them to run for an election, soon, like a wild fire became a consciousnees.
His acceptance and credibility was imminent. It soon spread across the state and everybody struggled to identify with ‘Odalije.’
Award ceremonies, special recognitions and various types of social gatherings in honour of Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa became the order of the day.
Today this grassroots propelled guber aspiration has grown into a movement and has thus become a threat to every other ambition in the state.
EverydayNews investigations reveal concerted gang up to discredit and probably pull down this shining star long before the chips are down.
Then came the reception of Sir Ohaa by the Awkunanaw clan. The speech of former Senate President Ken Nnamani became an issue for camping as they unsuccessfully twisted and adjusted to make it an attack weapon.
An unruffled camp merely laughed at the ignorance of a people and refused to join issues.
Senator Ken Nnamani spoke on Saturday, 14/08/21, at Akpasha, Akegbe Ugwu, Nkanu West Local Government Area, Enugu state, venue of the reception organised by the Awkunanaw Welfare Association, the umbrella development Union of 21 autonomous communities of Awkunanaw clan in Nkanu West and Enugu South Local Government Areas of Enugu state.
He narrated how he intervened to stop the harassment of his fellow kinsman, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa by EFCC, advising the EFCC to dig deeper in its investigation instead of hounding an ordinary civil servant whose offense is mere execution of the directives given by those on whose table the buck stopped. EFCC heeded the advice and let Senator Ken Nnamani’s kinsman off the hook after a thorough investigation, a probe that lasted several months within which Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa was unlawfully detained and removed from office as the Accountant General of Enugu State to allow for unfettered investigations.
Upon completion of investigation and after a harrowing 3 months of incarceration, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa was freed by EFCC with no condition attached. He was found to have committed no crime. Between him and EFCC, there was no plea bargain as to warrant him becoming a prosecution witness; he was, therefore, not made a witness to or against any of the other accused persons in the matter as there was no basis for that.
This is what Senator Ken Nnamani, got wrong, probably by a slip of thought when he wrongly claimed that Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa was made a witness.
It is noteworthy that immediately Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa was freed by EFCC, the government of His Excellency, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani in 2007 appointed him the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture, Enugu State.
The minimal Constitutional requirement for such appointment is security clearance from DSS and EFCC, and an appearance before the State House of Assembly for screening, approval and confirmation.
Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa got a clean bill on the security reports from all the security agencies prior to the House of Assembly screening as nothing criminal was pending against him.
The pertinent questions remain, at what point was he then a witness against the government of Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani or anybody else in that government? Was he a witness against the government in a matter pending in the court at the instance of EFCC and Governor Chimaroke Nnamani went ahead to appoint him the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture in the same government?
The Court records are also there to confirm if there were an any evidence of his court appearances or statement to EFCC portraying him as a prosecution witness? The pendency of the case against those indicted by EFCC in this matter has lasted several years and at no point or adjournment has Sir Chinyeaka ever appeared as a witness. The court records are there.
The thought/allegation, bereft of any shred of evidence, that Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa was a witness in the EFCC case against Dr Chimaroke Nnamani or anybody in that government is replete with patent illogicalities, and those bandying about the falsehood that Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa has a case to answer with EFCC should go to the next door.
The granite fact is, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa was not, neither would he have been, nor would he ever be a witness against a government that elevated him to the enviable position of Accountant General of Enugu State.
At the end of the regime of Dr Chimaroke Nnamani in 2007, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa transfered his service to the federal Civil Service where he rose to become Director of Finance and Accounts in several ministries, including the ministries of Labour, Transport, Water Resources and Defense.
In 2015, the government of President Mohammadu Buhari appointed him to the position of a federal Permanent Secretary, deploying him, first, to Ministry of Sports and Youth Development and, later, to the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, HOSF.
Again, he was deployed to the Federal Capital Territory Authority, FCTA. He, finally, retired as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power on 4th February, 2021.
It is trite that, with the tentacles of President Buhari’s anti graft agencies spread across all the MDAs, thorough background checks through high wire security investigations, resulting in objective security reports/clearance, preceded all the federal appointments made by President Mohammadu Buhari, including the post of Permanent Secretary, which Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa by the grace of God, hard work and dedication, got in the course of his epic sojourn at the federal civil service. To, therefore, state or insinuate that Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa has a case to answer in respect of the EFCC investigations and indictment of some officials of the government of Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani after Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa was freed by the EFCC on the same matter, 15 years ago, is utterly frivolous, vexatious and preposterous.
Sir Ohaa is only paying the price of acceptably and popularity as he marches, one step at a time, to the Enugu Lion Building.