Wife of environmentalist accuses government of witch hunt
The family of a detained Environmental activist and Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Non Governmental Coalition for Environment (NGCE) Dr Odigha Odigha has described his arrest as politically motivated. Odigha, hearing that the police was looking for him, on Thursday reported at the Cross River State Police Crime Investigation Department (CID), Calabar at about 11.40am and was arrested and detained based on an order from the Attorney General of the state Mr. Joe Abang following an allegation against him by the Chairman State Forestry Commission Mr. Bette Obi.
In an interview with some newsmen in Calabar yesterday, Wife of Odigha, Mrs. Evelyn Odigha said “On Wednesday, some people came to the house while he was away. They met the children at home saying they have a petition for him. Much later in the evening, he tried to reach the people but could not but the following day at 10.30am we left the house together, and he said he was going to the state CID to lodge a complaint based on the phone call he received the previous day.
On getting there he was arrested and the people told him that they actually came for an arrest that the Attorney General signed the order for the arrest”. The petition according to Odigha’s wife stated that accused her husband of embezzling a huge sum of money while he was chairman of Forestry Commission. On the allegation that her husband may have defrauding the state government to the tune of over N100million, she said, “I have been with this man for the past 18 years now, the money they are talking that he ate, I don’t know if a man can be stingy to himself.
He left office with Hilux attached to him and soon after the tenure ended, he returned it. The car he bought for me is the car we are sharing right now. Often times he will leave the car and I will use the car while he treks. The house we started building since some years back was when he got an award from the Goldman foundation, he got some money from there and we started molding blocks and to date the house is not completed and we have parked into the house”. Reacting on the matter and the allegation against the governor Senator Ben Ayade, the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita said it was wrong for anyone to politicize the arrest of Odigha.