Imo hoteliers petition Uzodinma over assault, intimidation of member


By Aluta News

Feb. 17, 2024

The Imo Hoteliers Association has petitioned Gov. Hope Uzodinma over what it described as  assault, defamation of character and intimidation of one of its members, Mr Magnus Awarzi.

The petition, signed by the association’s Chairman, Mr Chima Chukwunyere, and other executive members, was made available to newsmen on Saturday in Owerri.

Chukwunyere said that Awarzi, the Chief Executive Officer of Magnesium Hotels, Owerri, was accosted by Mr Paschal Nwakama, a former Special Assistant to the governor on land recovery for alleged trespass.

He said that Nwakama eventually forcefully and wrongfully collected the sum of N1 million from Awarzi in the guise that the state government would pardon his alleged trespass after he paid the sum.

He further noted when Awarzi repeatedly demanded a receipt for the payment, Nwakama returned the money and got the police to arrest and detain Awarzi for allegedly attempting to offer him a bribe.

The police however, granted Awarzi bail after confirming that he was not guilty as claimed.

Chukwunyere described the circumstances surrounding Awarzi’s arrest as illegal, adding that Nwakama was impersonating the state government as he and other members of the governor’s expanded executive council had been relieved of their duties shortly before he approached Awarzi.

He further alleged defamation of character and intimidation of Awarzi, acts which he said were intended to tarnish his reputation and credibility as well as those of the association.

He urged Gov. Uzodinma to take decisive action by investigating the incident and collaborating with relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that legal actions are taken against Nwakama and any of his possible cohorts.

“We urge the governor to investigate this report, implement stricter security measures to prevent recurrence of defamation and intimidation of our members as well as raise awareness within the government appointees about the importance of ethics in the discharge of their duties.

“ We firmly believe that these actions are in clear violation of the law and go against the principles of justice, fairness and respect individual rights.

“ We will pursue justice for our member in court if necessary urgent action is not taken by the governor to address this illegality, defamation of character and intimidation “, he said.


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