Newly appointed Benue Police boss, Hassan allegedly detains anti-corruption activist, Mojekwu

The newly deployed Commissioner of Police in Benue State, Mr. Yabaneth Steve Hassan, on Tuesday night, allegedly ordered the detention of Mr. Uchenna Mojekwu, a Civil Rights Activist and Secretary of Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN).

The development is in connection with the petition written against Dr. Dennis Akura, the Special Adviser to Governor Hyacinth Alia on Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

Recall that in February 2024, the GICN, through Mr. Mojekwu, submitted a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), detailing how the government of Alia, through his Aide, Akura, allegedly authorized and withdrew over N20bn from the Benue local government accounts, attaching evidences of letters signed by different Council Chairmen and Directors.

The group also submitted a copy of the petition to the Department of State Services (DSS) and the House Committee on Public Petitions, inviting various agencies to investigate the allegation.

Recall also that the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, had on 27th February, 2024, summoned Dr. Dennis Akura to answer questions concerning the said missing N20bn being part of Federal Allocations to the 23 Local Government Areas in Benue State, the invitation which was turned down.

While the EFCC reportedly transferred the petition to Makurdi Zonal Office and invited the lawyer to the group for adoption of the petition, Dr. Akura, on the other hand, wrote to the Police authority in Benue State, to arrest the petitioners.

DAILY POST gathered that a Deputy Commissioner of Police in Benue also wrote to the Petitioners, inviting them for questioning, while the EFCC was still waiting for the petition to be adopted and investigation has not yet commenced.

Speaking to our correspondence the Chairman of BoT/President of GICN, Barr. Edward Omaga, stated that Mr. Uchenna Mojekwu honoured Police invitation in the company of other officials of GICN to defend allegations of Conspiracy, Criminal Defamation and Cyberstalking levelled against him by the Special Adviser to Alia, Dr. Akura before he was detained Tuesday night, on the order of the Commissioner of Police, Hassan.

Omaga vowed that the group would not fold its hands and “allow the Benue State Government to have their way through the Police”, suggesting that the detention of the GICN Secretary was a ploy to suppress the investigation that is about to start at the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies.

Omaga said, “Massive protests are on the way at strategic locations in Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja within the coming days to draw attention of local and international communities to the efforts the group has made so far to tackle corruption and how the Police is being used to truncate such efforts”.

The group called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, to intervene in the matter with a view to ensuring that the fundamental human rights of Mr. Mojekwu are not breached by Dr. Akura and Benue State government.

When contacted by DAILY POST, the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO SP Anene Swuese denied knowledge of the detention.

“I personally don’t have that information at the moment.

“The command didn’t communicate me on that for now,” she told DAILY POST correspondent on the phone.

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