The Edo State Government has washed its hands off the plight of its Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism, and Diaspora Affairs, Osaze Osemwingie-Ero who was allegedly arrested in France some weeks ago for alleged money laundering, stating categorically that it had nothing to do with the state government, or with the governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Disowning the commissioner, a statement by the Special Adviser to the state governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie said the state government could not confirm the alleged arrest of the commissioner. The alleged arrest of Osemwingie-Ero surfaced Sunday on the social media via an appeal by indigenes of Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the state to the governor urging him to use his office to ensure that their son was released from detention by International Police (Interpol).
According to the trending report, Osemwingie-Ero was arrested some weeks ago for being in possession of $2,000,000 which was allegedly directly given to him by the Governor to keep for some investment purposes when he went with the Governor to France recently but was left to his fate by his principal. They accused the governor of lying against the embattled commissioner and not telling the world the main reason he was arrested. “The Governor is busy saying that the Commissioner was arrested not because of the money that was found with him but because of the offence he committed some years ago while in Italy”. This action of the Governor, according to them, “is to avoid the wrath of the people who may feel angry over how Edo money is being looted abroad through the aide of his Commissioner”. They further claimed that the Commissioner had no criminal record, neither had he been declared wanted before. They expressed surprise that the Governor was diverting attention from the reason he was arrested.
While therefore calling on well-meaning Edo people to prevail on the Governor to secure the release of their son “as it is unfair for him to treat his best Commissioner in this wicked and heartless manner” the commissioner’s kinsmen threatened that they would have no other option than to take their protest to the streets if Osemwengie-Ero was not released before the end of this year.
But distancing itself from Osemwingie-Ero’s alleged arrest, the state government said it learnt about it “from unreliable sources on social media and we are unable to confirm either the alleged arrest or what might have led to it. But we can confirm without equivocation that whatever the issues might be, they are totally personal and have nothing whatsoever to do with the Edo State Government or Governor Godwin Obaseki”.
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