Joseph Odok Finally Speaks, Denies Involvement In Visa Racketeering

In Breaking News, National News, Reports

By CrossRiverWatch Admin

Suspended UNICAL lecturer, Mr. Joseph Odok has finally spoken on the attack on him by a quartet at Zanzee bar in Calabar earlier in the week.

Odok who has temporarily relocated to Abuja, has been uncharacteristically silent over the attack but he broke the silence last night in a statement written by his relation, George Odok.

According to the statement, Odok said “The girl that set me up for assassination claimed she was my student and needed counsel as whether to abandon school for a business in Dubai. She wanted to trade on human hair. I told her I have never traveled out of Nigeria nor have I ever done a transaction involving a Visa.

“I told her I could only make inquiries to assist her. I called a friend who asked for her age. He asked for her age and she said she was 28. He categorically told her that Visa cannot be guaranteed for a girl who is less than 30 according to Nigerian immigration laws.

According to him, a girl who is less than 30 can only travel with a guardian or if she is married

The statement added that, “No money was involved or discussed. Our conversation was on phone and the security agencies are with the girl’s phone, so truth can’t be hidden because our communication can easily be investigated”, Odok said.

Odok, had on Tuesday gone to the DSS office in Calabar to give his statement over the attack.

The DSS later told CrossRiverWatch that the matter had been transferred to the state police command for further investigation.

But Odok’s statement further quoted, ASP Irene Ugbo, the state police spokesperson, who confirmed to CrossRiverWatch on phone that the case has been handed over to them as saying:

“We have the girl in our custody and she is giving us useful information to expand the scope of our investigation.

“The three guys who stabbed the complainant are still at large and we are working hard to arrest them.

“Some online blogs quoted me wrongly and the state command is not pleased with that.” Irene was quoted by the statement.

But CrossRiverWatch maintains that the State Police Spokeswoman told our reporter on phone that Odok’s attack was related to a failed visa procurement deal between Odok and the lady whose first name we have obtained as ‘Grace’ from Yala LGA in northern Cross River state.

Irene said that the lady was still in police custody and was assisting the police in their hunt for her three male accomplices who perpetrated the crime.

In the conversation, she dismissed as “politics”, insinuations and suggestions that the attack on Odok was politically motivated.

CrossRiverWatch had earlier been told by security sources that having been defrauded by Odok in the failed visa deal, the lady lured Odok to Zanzee bar in Calabar and called her boyfriend, Raphael Odu, a Director in the newly created Cross River State Homeland Security Department, who invited three armed male assailants who accosted Odok and unleashed violence on him leaving him with deep cuts on his right shoulder and breast.

Additional information available to CrossRiverWatch from reliable security sources indicate that Odok and the lady had earlier met at Marina Resort in Calabar where Odok sought to date the lady but the lady resisted the advances and reported Odok to her boyfriend, Raphael Odu, who threatened to “deal with Odok.”

According to our source, after an unspecified time and having not been able to get hold of Odok or her money, the girl then hatched another plan with Raphael Odu.

“Raphael plotted with the girl and used someone who told Odok that she wanted to write a petition against Ayade and needed the legal services of Odok who is also a lawyer. They agreed on a legal fee for the job on phone and also agreed to meet at Zanzee bar. But all that was to lure Odok out. That was what led to the events at Zanzee bar that fateful day.”

Raphael Odu has been arrested by the Police and he is also assisting the police in tracking the three assailants that stabbed Odok.

Some sources have hinted that officials of the state government are mounting pressure on the police to release Mr. Odu, who is a director in the homeland security department but the police are standing their ground.

Meanwhile, a legal practitioner, Mr. First Baba Isa has called on the police to speak out and clear the air on the matter or be sued.

In a statement by Isa, he condemned the attack on Odok and urged the Police to ensure the circumstances surrounding his attack are properly investigated and unravelled.

The statement read:

“On the 4th of September, 2017, a gory picture of Joseph Odok flooded the internet with horrible wounds and the story was that the Ayade-led Cross River State Government sent assassins to murder him.

Joseph Odok is a lawyer and lecturer in the University of Calabar and a well-known vociferous critic of the PDP and the Ayade-led Government in Cross River State.

When this news broke out, many persons condemned the attack and frowned at the thought of using force to silence the opposition and even going to the point of attempting to murder a critic.

Others wondered whether Joseph Odok is truly worthy to be taken seriously at all by any perspicacious government. Many persons put up posts and wrote lengthy articles calling out the government without even waiting for the dust to clear. I was one of such persons.

The following day, 5th of September, 2017, Agba Jalingo of CrossRiverWatch, an online news platform published what he claimed to be an investigative report. The report said that the hit on Odok had nothing to do with politics. That Mr Odok was attacked by a group of men who were engaged to do so by a lady Odok defrauded in a guise to procure a visa for her.

Today, the 9th of September 2017, Agba Jalingo of CrossRiverWatch has published that one Mr Raphael Odu, a Director with the Cross River State Homeland Security has been arrested by the police as the suspect who, acting in league with his girlfriend (the lady Odok allegedly defrauded in a visa racket), ordered the hit on Mr Odok.

We are glad that the police is on this matter already. We are glad that the lady in question is in custody of the police. We are glad that the police has made another arrest in this regard. We call on the police to get to the root of this. The police must unravel the conspiracy theories around the attempt made on Odok’s life. There are many questions begging for answers that only the police can help us answer.

Is it true that the Governor or some politician want Mr Joseph Odok dead because he belongs to a different political party or holds a different opinion? We can’t belong to a State or a society where critics and those who hold a different opinion are marked for dead and assassinated by the powers that be. To hold a different opinion from that held by our rulers should never be allowed to become a capital sin that deserve a death sentence. The police must dig and provide us with the answers we need.

Is Agba Jalingo and CossRiverWatch part of a grand conspiracy to eliminate Joseph Odok or they are just reporting what they saw and heard? Only the police can help us answer this question. They can. They should. They must.

Is the Governor’s name being dragged into a matter he knows nothing about? No matter our differences, Benedict Ayade is still our governor. We must always stand together to resist any attempt to bring the office of the governor and the occupier of that office into disrepute. We can’t do this and hope to prosper as a State. It is only the police that can help us establish this. They have started. They must finish it. Too much is dependent on their investigation. They cannot afford to fail.

Many persons attacked Agba Jalingo and CRwatch when they broke the story that Mr Odok was attacked because he defrauded a lady in a visa procurement racket. But up till now no one has come up with a contrary report. Mr Jalingo claimed to be reporting from what he gathered from the field. Why have other journalists not gone to field to gather and report their own independent findings? The time to depend on journalistic reports has passed anyway. Now, we depend on police investigations. The police must rise to their responsibility.

Why is the characteristically loquacious Joseph Odok not talking? He is back online but he is not talking. Odok who talks about everything is suddenly not talking about the most important thing: his life. When did silence become golden to Odok? Why is he not telling us his side of the story? What is he hiding? We want to know and we depend on the police to know.

Whether this is an assassination attempt or a fallout from a private transaction, the attack on Mr Odok is wrong. We condemn it totally. We charge the police to bring the culprits to book.

This will not just go away; I promise. The police should know we are serious about this. No suspect should be released without getting to the root of this matter. We will petition the Inspector General of Police and drag all the officers involved in this case nay the police force to court if this matter is not handled properly. We must get to the truth.

Fellow Cross Riverians, it’s time to stand together as one and call evil by its name: evil. The attack on Joseph Odok is barbaric and evil. Nothing justifies that attack. Let’s stand in support of the police to investigate this issue. If the investigation shows that the powers that be wanted to kill Odok, let’s condemn it with one voice; lest tomorrow such impunity and barbarism knocks on your own door. If we find out that the Governor or powers that be has nothing to do with this, let’s condemn that wicked move to bring the governor and the office into disrepute, knowing fully well that the attack was motivated by private hurts flowing from a private transaction.

The Police cannot afford to fail in this. We are watching.

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