Uche Uzodinma, younger brother of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has led hoodlums to torture the publisher of the Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper, Comrade Precious Nwadike, leaving him badly bruised.
SaharaReporters learnt that the governor’s brother and his thugs on Tuesday beat up the journalist, who is now hospitalised, over media reports on the excesses of the governor.
Witnesses said Nwadike was pummelled unconscious and resuscitated before being taken to hospital, with the help of passersby who picked him up as he lay beside his car.
Speaking from his hospital bed, Nwadike recalled that if not for the intervention of officials at the office he went, he could have been killed by the thugs brought by the governor’s brother.
He said, “I had visited the National Identity Management Office, which is located along Port Harcourt Road, by Eberelinks fuel station to register for my National Identity Number. Upon arrival at the office, I was given a form and referred to an office on Port Harcourt Road for data capturing. Knowing that it was already getting late, I pleaded with the lady to accompany me to the office, so she could make a case for me and she obliged.
“The lady and one other woman who came for the registration got into the vehicle and we drove to the place. On getting to the office, a man hit our car bonnet and asked us to reverse. At first, I thought it was one of those thugs around the office. It was when the other person who was flanked by two policemen instructed us to reverse the vehicle, introducing himself as the contractor of the Port Harcourt Road project that I realised that they were renovating the road. I obeyed even when I didn't know their reason for ordering us back.
“It was later discovered that the said contractor is actually Senator Hope Uzodinma's brother, Mr Uche Uzodinma. While I tried to park, the same man began to deride me, describing our vehicle as rickety, and threatening to deal mercilessly with us if we waited any further.
“We eventually parked across (from there) and attempted to cross over the other lane, when the same man who threatened to deal with us held me back and started beating me. Thereafter, he ordered some thugs who were with him to deal with me. He stood by to watch his thugs beat me into a stupor. I lost consciousness when one of them hit me in the neck, at the back of my neck.
“It took the intervention of two aides of Ikpamezie, Managing Director of OCDA (Owerri Capital Development Authority), where I went, to prevent them from killing me. The OCDA bos,s upon sighting me, shouted my name. Mr Uche Uzodinma entered his black Toyota Hilux and zoomed off in his convoy loaded with stern-looking men. I could not move any further. I fell down.”
SaharaReporters learnt that Nwadike was on Wednesday flown to Lagos for proper medical attention.
The governor’s brother could not yet be reached on the phone for comments.