By Declan Anaele
A month ago, both the electronic, social and print media were awash with the news of one of the Owerri based Journalists Finan Chuks who was beaten to stupor by a yet to be identified person who was later discovered to be one of the Aides to Rt. Hon. Kennedy Ibe and member Representing Obowo State Constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly.
Kennedy Ibe by my own assessment is a gentleman.
As a person, Hon. Kennedy Ibeh cannot be classified as my friend, one, I did not attend same schools with him both Primary, secondary and even the university.
I learnt he graduated from Enugu State University which I did not attend.
Kennedy Ibeh is also not my brother as he is from Obowo Local Government while myself, hail from Orlu Local Government, Umuna precisely.
Having said these, you will agree with my assertion above that Hon. Kennedy Ibeh is neither my friend nor my brother, the question now is how did I come to my opinion that, the young lawmaker is my friend.
I met Kennedy Ibeh the first time in 2019 when the 8th Imo Assembly was winding up in his office in the Imo Assembly complex. Then he was the chairman Committee on the 35 Autonomous Communities which the Okorocha’s administration issued the controversial staff of office.
That very afternoon, I stormed his office to ask him certain questions about the said Autonomous communities, the said lawmaker was already going to chambers for sitting.
On his hands, I saw the file he was holding, coming out from the office to go to their chambers, I accosted him and after greeting him, I requested he speak to me over the issue of the said Ezes, he replied to me as you can see, I am already late to chambers and I have a motion to present to the House but I will give you just five minutes which he did and other things are now stories.
However, before this very outing with Ibeh, one lady, by name Ngozi Duru a journalist based in Owerri too, was one of his Aides in that 8th Assembly.
I Addressed her as one of his Aides then because, the said Ngozi then, was a staff of Announcer Newspaper and myself was managing the said medium then, and Ngozi was bringing Ibeh’s reports as well as adverts and those materials must pass through my table before publications, including their monies.
Often, the said Ngozi Duru would call me on phone to allow a material go in that the House Member said he would pay at a certain date and at those stated dates, he paid without my reminding them.
Remember I am talking about Kennedy Ibeh as a gentleman.
The second time, I met Kennedy Ibeh was in the year 2020, which is this very year.
This happened when the Lead Express Newspapers where I work now, published a story involving him, the recovery panel set up by Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha where the company which he is one of the Directors was also involved.
He invited me to his Owerri Residence including few other Journalists. In fact, our meeting with him that night was cordial and gentle, he used that medium to tell us about his biography amongst others.
It was that night I got to know that he is marrying from my side and went further to tell me about one of my brothers, Barr. Jude Oduoma (Democracy) who according to him was his classmate at the University.
Having said this, let us analyze the issue at the moment, which is the thorough beating of an Owerri based journalist, by one of the Aides of Hon. Kennedy Ibeh, the member representing Obowo in the state House of Assembly.
Ordinarily, I would have ignored that incident given the controversies surrounding it but for two reasons, I am tempted to put up this piece.
One of the reasons is this, the said person beaten has been described by Owerri based journalists as a journalist, though I don’t know him in person; therefore to avert future occurrence of such, hence this piece.
Another reason is this, I saw a rejoinder put up by Ifeanyi Onyekachi, who as contained in the re-joinder is the media consultant to the lawmaker, Kennedy Ibeh.
According to Onyekachi, he accepted that indeed the said journalist Finian was beaten at the APC Secretariat along Okigwe Road when he, Finian was sharing his publication where he discredited the Hon. House Member.
With such distraction according to Onyekachi in the said release, an admirer of Kennedy Ibeh took it upon himself to beat the journalist.
Conversely, the chairman of the Imo field journalists, an umbrella body that houses field journalists in Imo led by Kelechi Ugo in their own release alleged that the guy that beat the journalist was one of the Aides of Kennedy Ibeh.
The said journalist himself has made it abundantly clear that he was beaten by an Aide of Kennedy Ibeh.
However, if the positions of the person beaten as well as the leadership of the field journalists are something to go by, it implies that Hon. Kennedy Ibeh should waste no time in restoring peace between him himself and the journalist.
It is a trite law in Nigeria as well as in the law of contract which I know very well that the Hon. Member, by virtue of his position as a lawyer, knows that whatever an agent does, his principal is directly responsible.
A principal Cannot go behind to deny action of his Agent probably because the action is not worthwhile, no the law frowns at that
Hon. Ibeh should therefore in a bid to remain Honourable, move fast if he has not to arrest the situation before it escalates.
The person beaten by available information to us is from his side, and had once worked for him, he should know therefore the best way to approach him and the matter.
Those who are also fueling the problem and crisis from sides should also stop, I mean the “Orie na “Crisis”.