Joseph Odok Alleged Assassination Attempt : We Need Answers From Police And We Need These Answers Fast By First Baba Isa

First Baba Isa, Legal Practitioner
On the 4th of September, 2017, a gory picture of Joseph Odok flooded the internet with horrible wounds and the story was that the Ayade-led Cross River State Government sent assassins to murder him. Joseph Odok is a lawyer and lecturer in the University of Calabar and a well-known vociferous critic of the PDP and the Ayade-led Government in Cross River State.

When this news broke out, many persons condemned the attack and frowned at the thought of using force to silence the opposition and even going to the point of attempting to murder a critic. Others wondered whether Joseph Odok is truly worthy to be taken seriously at all by any perspicacious government. Many persons put up posts and wrote lengthy articles calling out the government without even waiting for the dust to clear. I was one of such persons.

The following day, 5th of September, 2017, Agba Jalingo of CrossRiverWatch, an online news platform published what he claimed to be an investigative report. The report said that the hit on Odok had nothing to do with politics. That Mr Odok was attacked by a group of men who were engaged to do so by a lady Odok defrauded in a guise to procure a visa for her.

Today, the 9th of September 2017, Agba Jalingo of CrossRiverWatch has published that one Mr Raphael Odu, a Director with the Cross River State Homeland Security has been arrested by the police as the suspect who, acting in league with his girlfriend (the lady Odok allegedly defrauded in a visa racket), ordered the hit on Mr Odok.

We are glad that the police is on this matter already. We are glad that the lady in question is in custody of the police. We are glad that the police has made another arrest in this regard. We call on the police to get to the root of this. The police must unravel the conspiracy theories around the attempt made on Odok’s life. There are many questions begging for answers that only the police can help us answer.

Is it true that the Governor or some politician want Mr Joseph Odok dead because he belongs to a different political party or holds a different opinion? We can’t belong to a State or a society where critics and those who hold a different opinion are marked for dead and assassinated by the powers that be. To hold a different opinion from that held by our rulers should never be allowed to become a capital sin that deserve a death sentence. The police must dig and provide us with the answers we need.

Is Agba Jalingo and CossRiverWatch part of a grand conspiracy to eliminate Joseph Odok or they are just reporting what they saw and heard? Only the police can help us answer this question. They can. They should. They must.

Is the Governor’s name being dragged into a matter he knows nothing about? No matter our differences, Benedict Ayade is still our governor. We must always stand together to resist any attempt to bring the office of the governor and the occupier of that office into disrepute. We can’t do this and hope to prosper as a State. It is only the police that can help us establish this. They have started. They must finish it. Too much is dependent on their investigation. They cannot afford to fail.

Many persons attacked Agba Jalingo and CRwatch when they broke the story that Mr Odok was attacked because he defrauded a lady in a visa procurement racket. But up till now no one has come up with a contrary report. Mr Jalingo claimed to be reporting from what he gathered from the field. Why have other journalists not gone to field to gather and report their own independent findings? The time to depend on journalistic reports has passed anyway. Now, we depend on police investigations. The police must rise to their responsibility.

Why is the characteristically loquacious Joseph Odok not talking? He is back online but he is not talking. Odok who talks about everything is suddenly not talking about the most important thing: his life. When did silence become golden to Odok? Why is he not telling us his side of the story? What is he hiding? We want to know and we depend on the police to know.

Whether this is an assassination attempt or a fallout from a private transaction, the attack on Mr Odok is wrong. We condemn it totally. We charge the police to bring the culprits to book.

This will not just go away; I promise. The police should know we are serious about this. No suspect should be released without getting to the root of this matter. We will petition the Inspector General of Police and drag all the officers involved in this case nay the police force to court if this matter is not handled properly. We must get to the truth.

Fellow Cross Riverians, it’s time to stand together as one and call evil by its name: evil. The attack on Joseph Odok is barbaric and evil. Nothing justifies that attack. Let’s stand in support of the police to investigate this issue. If the investigation shows that the powers that be wanted to kill Odok, let’s condemn it with one voice; lest tomorrow such impunity and barbarism knocks on your own door. If we find out that the Governor or powers that be has nothing to do with this, let’s condemn that wicked move to bring the governor and the office into disrepute, knowing fully well that the attack was motivated by private hurts flowing from a private transaction.
The Police cannot afford to fail in this. We are watching.

F. Baba Isa, Esq.,
Politics 4901997841203680851

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