Cleric wades into Emeka Offor, S’African based activist’s case, sues out of court settlement


By Tony Okafor, Awka

A Cleric, Pastor CY Okonkwo has waded into the feud between Oil mogul, Sir Emeka Offor and a South African Activist, Boniface Okonkwo over an alleged defamatory publication against the former( Offor)

Okonkwo,who hails from Oraifite
in the Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State as Offor was arrested and detained by the police in the state on January 3,2024 over alleged criminal defamation.

He was said to have posted on social media that a meter manufacturing company in Oraifite, said to be owned by Offor, was an empty warehouse, intended to defraud the Federal Government.

Offor was accused of instigating the arrest of the activist even when the state police command via its Police Public Relations Officer, Tochukwu Ikenga,in a statement described the allegation as “pedestrian,” adding that the police needed no instigation to do their job, saying, “Any Nigerian citizen whom a crime was committed against has the right to complain to the police for investigation in line with the country’s constitution.”

Efforts to secure bail for Okonkwo since January failed as court refused him bail.

However, at the resumed hearing on Tuesday at an Anambra High Court, Nnewi Division ,presided over by Justice Vincent Agbata, the Investigating Police Officer handling the matter was cross examined by the counsel to the defendant, Oseleka Osuigwe (SAN) while Alexander Ejesieme (SAN) appeared for the prosecution.

The matter was adjourned to Wednesday, May 8, for hearing.

Speaking with journalists after the Tuesday hearing, Pastor CY Okonkwo, who said he is an elder brother to the activist said he had made consultations that might result to out of court settlement of the matter.

He said,”Boniface is my younger brother Emeka Offor is from Oraifite, we’re kinsmen.. We’re sueing for peace because one can win a case without having peace with your brother; in such case, there will be no progress in the town and charity begins at home.

“The Bible says follow peace with all men,how much more your town’s brother. I want peace to prevail between my brother and Emeka( Offor)so that there will be progress in our town.

” I’m taking about settling out of court. I have gone to Offor through the President General of Oraifite. I have spoken to him. There are things we discussed which I don’t think can be made public now. I have consulted some people that are close to him; they have spoken to him and we’re thinking there’s a kind of progress.

“The way I’m looking at it, he( Offor) is likely to accept our entreaties. We have pleading with him for peace.”

Also speaking, Counsel to the defendant ( Boniface Okonkwo), Oseleka Osuigwe alluded to fact the that settling out of court would not be a bad option.

He said,”As a minister in the temple of justice, it’s my duty to promote settlement where possible. If it’s not possible, we continue with the hearing of the matter.

“So, I cannot stand in the way of settlement or ADR or any name called. It’s not a felony, so nobody will be accused of compounding felony. So it’s a matter that can be settled. Even the court, is enjoined by rules of court to promote settlement.

“But for now, my duty is to defend him; but if the family wishes to explore other opportunities, I’m not against it, but I won’t take the initiative, because it’s not my duty to do so. If the court is amenable to the family’s move for out of court settlement, we say all that’s starts well that ends well.”

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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