By Jonathan Ugbal And Elijah Ugani
Controversy currently trails the alleged stabbing of a suspended lecturer in the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Dr. Joseph Odok by three men and a lady.
Mr. Odok was allegedly assaulted by the unknown quartet on Monday afternoon at Zanzee bar off Parliamentary road in Calabar, the Cross River State capital with different stories emerging over what led to the stabbing.
Initial stories suggested that he may have been attacked by pro government thugs due to his vociferous nature over policies of the state government while a family source told CrossRiverWatch that it may not be unconnected to the Borum palm estate crisis with the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Tina Agbor fingered.
The family member claimed the lady was arrested by Nigeria’s secret police; the DSS.
But, when CrossRiverWatch contacted the DSS on phone on Tuesday morning, they denied knowledge of such with the Police spokesperson, ASP Irene Ugbo and the State Security Adviser, Mr. Jude Ngaji saying they had no knowledge as at that time, of any incident involving Mr. Odok.
CrossRiverWatch then visited Zanzee bar at about 10:43 AM, the staff on duty were initially apprehensive but later explained that Mr. Odok was accosted by a lady who met him at the bar and after arguing for a short while, was joined by three guys who beat up Mr. Odok.
Now, two images obtained by CrossRiverWatch shows Mr. Odok sustaining a deep cut on his right shoulder, right breast and bruises on his face and other parts of his body.
Analysis by CrossRiverWatch’s photo editor shows that both photographs were taken a minimum of an hour apart as the first shows Mr. Odok half clothed with fresh injuries while the second shows clotted droplets of blood around the wounds with Mr. Odok in what looked like a cream colored underwear stained with his own blood.
According to security staff at Zanzee bar, the argument centered around money being paid to Mr. Odok by the lady to process a Visa to a destination CrossRiverWatch is yet to confirm. He probably did not process the Visa and did not give her the money back the staff concluded.
The manager of the hospitality facility then called the DSS which then arrested both and detained them.
But, this is contrary to claims by Mr. Odok apologists that only the lady had been arrested and detained by the DSS while Mr. Odok was receiving treatment at an undisclosed medical facility.
A visit to the DSS state office along the Goodluck Jonathan bypass yielded minimum results as CrossRiverWatch staff were denied access into the compound after introduction at the gate.
One DSS personnel shared his contact and directed our correspondents to check back in an hour. This was after he initially ordered everyone around to leave following their assault on a young man suspected to be an aide to a Catholic priest who is also an aide to Governor Ben Ayade on Religious Affairs, Rev. Fr. Bob, who was pushed into the compound after been slapped severally by DSS officials with personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps who had stopped him earlier saying he deserved the beating.
The personal belongings of the priest including a mass box, Chasuble and other linens were taken out of the tinted Kia Rio vehicle with a government license plate parked in front of the DSS office.
As at that time, CrossRiverWatch had confirmed that Mr. Odok was also arrested alongside the unknown lady over an argument related to visa procurement.
An hour passed and several calls to the personnel and spokesperson of the DSS were not taken. But, CrossRiverWatch later gathered that Mr. Odok had been released and is receiving medical treatment with family members mum about his whereabouts.
And, no official comment has been made by anyone claiming to be Mr. Odok’s legal representative.
Also, CrossRiverWatch is yet to get the identity of the lady as family members of Mr. Odok have kept mum on that.
Comments on Social Media studied by CrossRiverWatch showed a mix reaction to the incident with the common questions been his health condition and why the DSS is the one handling the matter.
Mr. Odok was suspended by the management of UNICAL earlier in the year due to insubordination and was later detained by the Police over an allegation that he had illegal firearms in his Calabar residence.