A mild drama was witnessed last weekend when an unconfirmed report believed to be an element of falsehood went viral in the social media that the former Deputy Governor, Hon Gerald Irona was allegedly arrested by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Even as the media team of the ex Deputy Governor who is a PDP chieftain has refuted the unclaimed report by describing it as false, misleading and planted to embarrass the former Deputy Governor in the public, Irona however rattled a former commissioner to governor Hope Uzodinma, Chief Fabian Ihekweme who tried to make a fuss out of it.
Moments some bloggers and online operators dropped the unfounded stories about the false arrest, Ihekweme, a pro Uzodinma activist and a popular player in the social media took it up and started spreading the link. However, he was challenged by the media team of the former deputy governor who placed their rejoinder immediately.
The former commissioner fondly called “Omu” refused to agree to the contents of the rejoinder that Irona was not arrested in one of the wassap platform called “Imo Leadership Forum”. Ihekweme went further to post about the alleged arrest and even quoted saharareports.com who also carried the report.
When the rejoinder signed by Dr Walter Duru, media aide Irona claimed the report was yet another phantom one, Ihekweme still insisted that apart from the response being cloned he posited that the phone number of Irona was also switched off.
Ihekweme who was foreign affairs commissioner to Uzodinma before the dissolution of the state cabinet exco went further to claim Irona was arrested for diversion of funds.
Despite the series of refutals sent to counter the posts he sent out, Ihekweme in the social media post asked pro-Irona members challenging the report to stop crying. He went further to post “you people should stop crying, his arrest is not a death sentence. After all, Theodore Orji and son were picked up yesterday too”.
When Ihekweme was informed that the news was planted and no reputable newspaper house has carried the report including the EFCC portal, the former commissioner said “I just spoke to my friend who confirmed why the former Deputy Governor was picked up” At that point, he claimed Irona’s number was switched off oblivious of the fact that the former Deputy, a member of the platform was online and had to offer reply to his gibberish remarks, “Fabian, my number is not switched off pse”.
Apparently surprised at the development, members of the platform; Imo Leadership Forum started asking about the whereabout of Ihekweme since he claimed Irona’s number was switched off. While showcasing defeatist tendency, Ihekweme again claimed Irona’s phone was cloned before the former deputy Gov replied on the same platform; “Fabian ur wish could not manifest” Ihekweme had no option than to reply that “the former DGov just called me to confirm that he is fine but he didn’t tell me where he was calling from. However, we thank God that he is at least safe”.
Irona who was still online replied Ihekweme “I called u from my private residence in Abuja @Fabian” the former Deputy Governor’s response however silenced Ihekweme from further spread of the reported false information and comments on the matter.
An online report believed to be false had alleged that Irona was arrested at the airport for alleged mismanagement of ISOPADEC and RAMP Fund. He was also accused not to have submitted his international passport.
In dismissing the arrest report, his aides said no iota of truth in it as the former Deputy has no case with the EFCC. He was also said not to be under any investigation and at the same time relaxing in his personal house.