By Ikeugonna Eleke
A former employee of Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra State (OCHA Brigade), a paramilitary agency established to ensure a healthy environment, Mr Ernest Nwufoh, is crying out to the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, for help after he was allegedly physically assaulted by the Managing Director of the agency, Mr Douglas Okafor.
Nwufoh was on 11 June allegedly attacked by Okafor, and received bodily injuries just a few days after Okafor was announced as the MD of the outfit by Governor Obiano.
Nwufoh who spoke to journalists after leaving hospital for treatment, said he suspected that the action of the new MD may have been triggered by the fact that he (Nwufoh) did not support him (Okafor) during his quest to head the agency.
He said he was the Admin Officer of OCHA Brigade worked very harmoniously with his former boss, Superintendent General and MD, Mr Pat Obiefuna. He said the current MD was a Deputy Superintendent at the time but had the ambition of becoming the MD, but, he, Nwufor, did not support him.
He said, ‘Just a week after Okafor was made the MD and Superintendent General, he called me and said there would now be changes in the office; that the brigade would no longer condone fraud. I asked him if there had been any fraud in the agency.
‘He started beating me, just like that, until I collapsed. I couldn’t fight him because he is said to be a US trained fighter. He even seized my phone and threatened to throw my body downstairs, if not for OCHA Brigade Officers who rescued me after I collapsed,’ he alleged.
Nwufoh added that since after the incident, he had been in hospital for treatment, following a dislocation he sustained, including a bloodied eye and blood clot from the beating.
‘On my return, I went to retrieve my phone which he seized, but was told I had to sign to collect a letter before it could be handed to me. When I signed and picked up the letter, it turned out he had terminated my appointment. He also deleted a lot of data from my phone,’ Nwufor further alleged.
Claiming to be in pains as a result of injuries sustained from the beating, Nwufor begged the Anambra State Governor to intervene on his case. He said he had also approached the Secretary to the State Government to complain, but had not been lucky to meet him.
‘How can my labour for years be terminated without any benefits for no just cause?’ Nwufoh queried.
The Public Relations Officer of the Brigade, Anthony Agbaefune, when approached by Fides said he did not have the powers to react to the allegations against his boss, insisting that his boss would rather speak for himself.
Mr Okafor, when contacted on the phone, rejected any form of interview. He bellowed, ‘My friend (the journalist), what is your stake in this matter? Tell the complainant to go to court, and don’t you ever call me about this matter again,’ and put off the call.