The Imo State Government says the Department of State Services (DSS) is still holding a member of staff of the Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), Casmir Chinonye Uzomah in its gulag for airing a subversive song against the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba offered the explanation in a statement obtained by our correspondent.
According to Emelumba, Uzomah while on duty on August 4, 2022 aired on IBC Orient 94.5FM Owerri ‘a criminal, libelous and extremely subversive song against the governor’.
The commissioner washed the hands of the state government and the IBC management off his arrest, saying the DSS simply seized and slammed him in detention for ‘airing subversive material capable of threatening national security’.
He quoted the DSS of confirming that Uzomah upon his arrest made a written confession that the offensive song was given to him by some collaborators and he duly smuggled and aired it on the state-run channel in contravention of the terms of his employment and ethics of the broadcast industry.
Emelumba disclosed that in the song, the governor was described as a murderer, a vampire and sucker of blood, pointing out that in spite of these unfounded allegations in the song, an employee of the government had the audacity to air the song in a state-owned radio station.
The statement reads in part; “That was a clear case of criminal libel against a man who has never been accused of a high crime nor convicted by a court of law. The aim of course, was not just to disparage the governor but to maliciously damage his reputation and to incite the public against the government.
“Those who glibly talk of freedom and democracy in this matter are either ignorant of the potential crime of treason committed by Casmir Chinonye Uzomah or they are being hopelessly mischievous.
“Indeed it may not be far from the truth to conclude that those in the forefront of the clamour for his release may indeed know how he came about the offensive song. This may well explain why they want him out of the hook fast enough so that they can obstruct further chances of getting to the root of who did what and why
“It is instructive to note that apart from sabotaging his employers, Casmir Chinonye Uzomah also incurred the wrath of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) which queried IBC for breaching its code.
“These are the weighty issues at stake for which the DSS is carefully trying to get to its remote and immediate motives.
“And from the explanation given by the DSS, the co-conspirators indicated by Mr Uzomah,in his statement, have been on the run. The DSS insists that they have to be apprehended and questioned alongside Casmir Chinonye Uzomah to establish their sinister motive.
“It is therefore important that while we exercise the right to call for the release of a detainee, we must not sweep under the carpet the need to first establish the motive for the suspect’s action, who his hasty released will most likely jeopardize investigations.
“A man, who acting in collaboration with some unscrupulous elements, could brazenly use a government’s station to incite the public against the Governor of the state, can as well plan to do something more dangerous using the same gang. This is why we think the DSS is right in insisting that it’s important and urgent that he should help them track down his collaborators so that the motive behind their action can be unraveled and judiciously rested”.