By Jonathan Ugbal
Nigeria’s secret police, the DSS and the Police Command in Cross River State have said that the attack on suspended UNICAL Don, Dr. Joseph Odok was not an assassination attempt but caused by his alleged involvement in a failed visa procurement deal.
CrossRiverWatch had reported that Mr. Odok was attacked by an unknown quartet comprising a lady and three men on Monday at Zanzee bar, off parliamentary road in Calabar, the Cross River State capital with initial stories on social media claiming it was an assassination attempt by state actors.
He was stabbed and sustained what appears to be a deep cut on his right shoulder and breast.
But, the Director of the DSS in the state, Mr. Fubara Duke told CrossRiverWatch Friday morning in a telephone conversation that it was not an assassination attempt and said that the matter had been handed over to the police.
When pressed for more information, Mr. Duke declined comment but said the matter was not an assassination attempt.
CRW:”Sir, there are reports, claims and insinuations that his attack was sponsored by Governor Ayade or some other state actors?
Mr. Fubara: I dont know anything about that. Our investigation did not connect any such thing and the matter has been handed over to the Police. They will be in a better position to tell you more.” He said.
The spokesperson of the Police command in the state, ASP Irene Ugbo confirmed that the lady suspected to have brought Mr. Odok to the open before he was attacked, was in Police custody.
“Yes they (DSS) have,” said Mrs. Ugbo when asked if the DSS had transferred the case to the Police.
When asked what the matter was, she said preliminary investigation had revealed that it was not an assassination attempt and confirmed CrossRiverWatch’s earlier report that the attack was due to a failed Visa racketeering scheme by Mr. Odok and dismissed as “politics,” and false, allegations that the state government was involved.
She declined mentioning the girls name when contacted again but said the unnamed lady was been kept in custody to facilitate Police investigation and subsequent arrest of the other three suspects at large.
Meanwhile, CrossRiverWatch is yet to get Mr. Odok’s comments as his lines are switched off.
But, Mr. Odok, according to those who have access to him since he left the hospital, is not ready to talk yet, which some comments on social media suggests is quite uncharacteristic of the self styled and self acclaimed critic.
Two photographs obtained by CrossRiverWatch shows a recuperating Mr. Odok smiling with friends and family.
As earlier reported, Mr. Odok was detained earlier this year by the Police for allegedly been in possession of illegal firearms and has remained in suspension as a lecturer in the University of Calabar.
However, some insist that the attack was masterminded with the help of state actors with the narrative as monitored by CrossRiverWatch changing on a daily basis.
The act was initially condemned as an attempt to gag critics of the state government on Tuesday.
The DSS was also fingered with many questioning why they responded first.
Also, concerns were raised about Mr. Odok’s health with many calling for the DSS to open up on his actual state of health.
On Wednesday, when details emerged that it may have been due to a fraudulent activity which Mr. Odok got involved; this was rebuffed with claims that the masterminds have paid certain persons to disparage Mr. Odok’s image.
CrossRiverWatch also learnt that he was allowed to go for treatment after initial investigation and questioning.
Photographs of a recuperating Mr. Odok emerged on Thursday (yesterday) with claims that Mr. Odok release vindicated him while the lady remained in custody.
And, on Friday, family sources close to Mr. Odok whom CrossRiverWatch had relied on to get information and who had alleged the involvement of the state denied that they said the state was involved.
Another twist to the matter is the allegation that an official of the state Homeland Security outfit, Raphael Odu, was allegedly arrested also for involvement in the incident but CrossRiverWatch was not able to confirm this independently at the time of filing this report.
Further details expected as the story continues to develop.