Valentine Obienyem, the Media Adviser to former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, has alerted the public on a sinister plot to rubbish the reputation of his principal through the sponsorship of false and malicious publications, especially in disreputable online platforms and the Social Media.
In a statement he issued in Awka on Wednesday, Obienyem identified one Ikenna-Ellis Ezenekwe as the arrowhead of the sinister plot, using his blog 247Ureports.com as the main vehicle for disseminating the false stories.
He cited recent libelous publications by Ezenekwe, noting that he did not bother to observe the basic journalism rule of contacting the accused to state his side of the story.
Referring to the latest of such stories alleging the offering of N10 million bribe to Peoples Democratic Party National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, Obienyem said: “Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe, a well known fraudster, lied that Obi gave 10 million Naira to PDP Chairman.
“Obi has not seen the PDP Chairman in the last 2 months, yet he reported how Obi gave him 10 Million Naira, which he rejected. You and I know that Obi can only give such an amount to schools!”
The Media Aide went down memory lane, recalling running battles with Ezenekwe, whom he described as a notorious blackmailer.
Recalling some of their encounters, Obienyem wrote: “I have had many encounters with Mr. Ellis Ikenna Ezenekwe in the past. In the January of Obi’s administration, he visited my office begging me to appeal to the then Governor Peter Obi to make him an assistant. He even wrote a letter to that effect, which is attached.
“At that time, I did not know that he was part of the delegation from ASA USA to monitor elections, but he left the group and pursued other interests. Till today, ASA USA is demanding the refund of the money with which they sponsored him.
“At a point, it became clear that Ikenna is a fraudster. He can do anything for money. He started Sahara Reporters with Mr. Sowore, but because he always went behind to collect money from people to work against his colleagues, they expelled him. Seeing what Sahara Reporters has become, one wonders what Ikenna would have been by now.
“He started Nankareports and people of Nanka revolted and he switched to Ukpaka reports, when it became notorious for blackmail, he metamorphosed into 247ureports. Meanwhile, his contemporaries have all moved ahead of him because he thinks he can build an empire on lies and fraud.
“Because of the type of live he lives, his American wife divorced him. He married a Nigerian without disclosing to her his genotype (AS), when they had SS child, his wife protested. The case was heard by their kindred and the pastor of their local church. The woman threatened to leave him, saying she did not know somebody could be fraudulent with his own family and future. His case was taking up by the Association of People Living with Sickle cell, using it to warn intending couples not to hide their genotype to each other. The same group fell out of favour with Ikenna, when he insisted they would pay for him to carry news sensitizing people about sickle cell in his site.
“At a time, he resurrected the news of erosion killing some people in his town of Nanka, an event that happened in 1974 and presented it as a fresh event. He colluded with the man involved in 1974, who lost his entire family . He got Channels’ people to interview the man and packaged the event as just happened. Consequently, the man was showered with relief materials and money. Obi visited as a Governor and gave the man N100,000 and materials and promised to relocate him to a safer place. Many organisations, even Scout and Red Cross organizations in the state visited and made donations. When the scam busted, Channel’s returned to the man who confessed he was acting Ikenna’s script. He said all the relief materials and money he garnered were shared with Ikenna.
“The most odious of Ikenna’s fraud was when he sent a text to me and said he was crying making the request of $10,000 dollars from Obi needed to treat his father who was dying of prostate cancer. He said I should not judge his past since it was a matter of life and death and begged I should just tell Mr. Peter Obi about it because, according to him, ‘Obi is a Christian with unlimited capacity to forgive.’ I chuckled and said to myself, ‘So this man knows he has been unfair to Obi.’ He sent another text directly to Obi.
“As predicted, Obi gave me the $10,000 for him. Later I came to discover that he sent the same text to all the Governors at that time and some of them might have assisted.
“As from the 30th of December, 2013, I started receiving text messages from one Ifeanyi Ezenekwe, Ikenna’s younger brother. He said he was desperately in need of meeting me. I cannot go into details, but when we eventually met in my office, he narrated to me how Ikenna used their father’s ill health to make money from politicians and how he did not remit one kobo for the treatment. He said their father mighty eventually die of broken heart rather than prostrate. Who would not be moved? He said he was having series of issues with Ikenna and that he was a victim of Kano riot. He used 08067432993 to send texts.
“A PHONE CALL FROM IKENNA EZENEKWE TWO MONTHS AGO
“Since we left office, I have not spoken with Ikenna Ezenekwe, but two months ago, precisely on the 2nd of July, 2018, my phone rang repeatedly. When I picked, I was surprised it was Ikenna Ezenekwe. I have his 08083368888 but he used a new number to call me: 08136697979.
“Ikenna started with apologies over series of unpleasant issues between us. As usual, he said he was a changed person, and to buttress that, that I should hear him out. He went on and on telling me how Obi has turned out to be the best thing that has happened to Anambra State and how he would make a good president. He said it was an insult for those he was better than to chose him as the VP. After about 15 minutes of talking, I said to him that he should not worry since Mr. Peter Obi was not angling for any post.
“Further, Ikenna told me that a politician in the South-East vowed that Obi would never be considered for a VP position was about to mobilize them to launch coordinated attack on him by posting falsehoods about him. He said the offer was tempting, but that as a “born again”, his conscience was troubled. Upon all my persuasion, he declined to name those about to be mobilized with him.
“Knowing Ikenna as synonymous with fraud and mischief, I asked him how much. He said if Mr. Peter Obi could give then $50,000 dollars, that he would make the team to turn back on the offer and work for him (Obi). I told him that he should be aware by now, that it is only on medical condition that Obi would bring out such money. Off course, going by his father’s saga, that area is foreclosed.
“Subsequently, having realized that the old fraudster was at it again, I did not pick his calls.
“It was not surprising when, in the last three weeks, he started dishing out falsehoods against Mr. Peter Obi.
“Obi has not seen the PDP Chairman in the last 2 months, yet he reported how Obi gave him 10 Million Naira, which he rejected. You and I know that Obi can only give such an amount to schools!
“While we await more lies from Ikenna, it is pertinent that the public knows who he really is.”