June 11, 2017
Unconfirmed reports indicate that lawyer Franc Utoo who was abducted last week has been freed.
THANK YOU ALL!
From the depth of my heart I appreciate you all. Firstly and greatly, I thank God Almighty for His glory and mercies!
On Saturday morning, I was somewhere in Gwarinpa, Abuja, in company with my 4 year old son when I was accosted by 4 men in mufti who had trailed me. I was shown a warrant of arrest by the Police SIB in Makurdi, Benue State. I wondered why warrant had to be issued when I could report to an invitation to the station in my own town. I made an attempt to draw the attention of my bosom friend and colleague, firstly, Barr. Wilson Tertsea Iorshe for his information, but my phone was snatched and I was hurriedly bundled into a waiting vehicle leaving my son there watching and statuesqued with no immediate care from any quarter. I was left incommunicado for the duration of the journey as my phone was seized till the time of my release 27 hours later. I was also puzzled on the timing of the whisking when I have a case at the Supreme Court slated for Monday, June 12.
The arrest was allegedly necessitated based on a petition by the state Chairman of my party, the APC, Abba Yaro. I was shown a 2 page petition where he accused me of being very critical of him just “because I was roundly defeated by Dickson Tarkighir in the APC primaries for House of Reps” (the whole world know that’s not a correct statement!); that I sent to him a 3 page texts of threats (texts, YES! threat, that’s very INCORRECT!) What he didn’t say was that those texts were a response to the call he earlier made to me to threaten to deal with me and to institute a legal action against me for defamation, a process he had already commenced with a letter requesting me to retract. The texts were simply daring and yes, insulting. I resorted to texts because he called me, threatened me and hung up immediately. Martins Terlumun Nyam was there when I got that initial call. Lastly, in the petition, I was accused of recruiting men from Ekpoma to assassinate him (this sounds more like an act from Nite of A Thousand Laughs). As Hon. Daniel Onjeh would say at the police station, “the Franc I know can NEVER hurt a mosquito (that remains a notorious fact!).
Friends, I was spurred to write a brief analysis of what actually transpired here because I heard, last night, that the State Acting Publicity of APC, my younger brother and kinsman, Berger Alfred Emberga Mrp (the same boy who donated his gulf car for me to be bundled from Abuja to Makurdi (a classical Judas) released a statement to misrepresent facts and deceive gullible public. I also heard the police tried to justify her actions on Radio Benue news. That’s quite sad. I have always been, and will forever be against the use of state institutions by individuals to score personal points.
I was literally coerced by my father and political leader, Rt.Hon Avine Agbom, to write an undertaking never to send Abba Yaro texts and nothing more. The police was contented with that. The pressure generated by that case from all over the country and beyond was overwhelming. The idea was to cow me into silence and/or submission. None was achieved and none is possible. Our insatiable demands for a right, just and egalitarian society where the system works not for some people or most people but for all people, can never be compromised!
I’ll conclude by thanking God Almighty for that situation; it could have been worse. I want to deeply sympathise with my son because the experience may be traumatic to him, at that an early age. I still don’t know how the story of my bundling was unveiled. I sincerely appreciate the effort of the following persons who trooped to the station just about 5 minutes after my arrival there:
My dad and political leader of my people, Hon Avine Agbom – APC (Assembly Member for Makurdi North); Hon. Terseer Adzuu -PDP (Assembly Member of my LG, Guma); Barr. Emmanuel Agbakor (Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Makurdi branch); my brothers, Jila Barnabas, Jonathan Modi, Vitalis Dino Hwande, Modom Barnabas.
I want to thank the uncountable number of persons who visited and laid physical siege at the police headquarters and for the roles they all played: my big brother, Chief John Akperashi, Dan Onjeh, Barr. Agbo Jerry Madaki Hon. Terna-kester Kyenge, Nat Apir, Kula Tersoo, Gideon Doo Inyom, Shighe Ityohen Moses, Saater Tiseer, Moses Pila, Fanuchii Fanen Amenger, Terseer Ugbor, Bemdoo Hulugh, Aver Angweh, Gurgur Japheth MP, Austin Agada,Joe ‘Poxy’ Idoko, Indigenous Prince Isaka, Eucharia Iordye, Winifred Daniel, Jethro Kaluba Annum, David Zaan, Mathias Agbo Omikpa, the entire APC Hausa Forum, the APC Isherev Forum led by my brothers, Ashinjo Peter and Ioraor Mtan. KOBA led by Adamu Tanimu Na’laraba, et al.
Very importantly, to my leader, Jime Emmanuel Jime, who took care of proceedings; Amb. Dickson Akoh who made sure things remain smooth; Hon. Abba Moro, for his endless contacts; Governor Ortom, for the Press Release extricating the government; Senator Akume, for his interventions; Gabriel Suswam, for sending a delegation; Engr. Felix Atume, Paul Ankwa Edeh, Prince Yemi Itodo, Benjamin Agbamo, Mimi Atedze, Col. Raymond Terungwa Utsaha, Sunday Akoji, VATIM and MAFO, the NBA and the Golden Jubilee set of the Nigerian Law School, Dr.Chike Amobi, Awele Henry Chigbue, Aposu Anande Linus, for taking up the matter more than I could have done! And for the tireless efforts of my lovely wife, Brenda Utoo, angelic auntie Margaret Bai-Tachia, auntie Tolufashe Funmilayo A, uncle Simon Bai, Khalifa Bello, my parents and siblings, I say THANK YOU! To the NBA Makurdi branch who had mobilised hundreds of her members and the over 15 groups who had organised thousands for a mass protest if I was not released, I can’t thank you enough.
Above all, I dedicate my freedom (which came after 27 hours like Nelson Mandela’s 27 years, and with a release of heavenly shower of blessings in Makurdi immediately I stepped out of the police station) to ALL OF YOU out here. You are too numerous for individual names to be mentioned. I have never been shown this kind of love. You pressured and drew the attention of the world. You caused people to call me and sent messages from all parts of the world. You exposed the real power of the social media. You sent a strong message that our time is come. You have proven that any status quo can be altered and change can come when million of voices stand up for the same purpose and in unison demand for change. Societies everywhere change because a group of people fired by higher ideals consciously get together and creatively destroy an existing dysfunctional order.
The message is now loud and the will is strong!!!
“You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory; victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill
Yours In Service,
Franc Fagah Utoo, Esq. LQC (Malaysia); LL.B (Hons) (Newcastle,UK)