Ogonis in Diaspora Wants Nigerian Senator Barinadaa Mpigi Investigated For Murder

The National Union of Ogoni Students, USA, also known as NUOS USA, a not-for-profit refugee agency with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, has called on Nigeria’s Acting Inspector General of Police to direct the Rivers State Police Commissioner to launch an investigation into the alleged involvement of Senator Barinada Mpigi in the attempted murder of Chief Gani Topba. Gani Topba was shot  in Bori, Ogoni.on Sunday, March 12, 2023. He survived the attack.

You may want to listen to Chief Gani Topba’s interview here

President of NUOS USA, Freddie Idamkue made the call in a statement released at the end of its mid-year emergency meeting held in Phoenix Arizona USA. Idamkue said the insecurity situation was creating a refugee crisis and forcing migrations especially in Ogoni where a lot of high profile killings are never investigated. 

Chief Gani Topba had on Saturday July 22, 2023 while featuring on “Point Blank”, a current affairs radio programme on Super FM 93.3 Port Harcourt accused the current Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District Barinada Mpigi of being behind the assassination attempt.

Chief Gani Topba had also accused the Senator of poisoning the former governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike on two occasions.

Reacting to the allegation, Idamkue said the police cannot treat such a weighty allegation lightly especially given the level of high profile killings which has ravaged Ogoni without anyone being held accountable.

Chief Gani Topba had challenged the Senator, Barinada Mpigi to act in denial of the allegations by petitioning the state security if the allegations are false.

Idamkue said Senator Mpigi was also named in the January 2nd 2020 assassination attempt on the life of the president of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke. MOSOP President Nsuke escaped by the whiskers and remained in police detention for two days before his release in the late evening of January 4.

Citing other high profile killings in the Ogoni area,  Idamkue said Barr. Joseph Paago, a university lecturer was adopted in Kira, and murdered in cold blood in Agbonchia Eleme  on his way to Port-Harcourt. The police have not identified his assailants since then.

Richard Nimaa, a MOSOP chieftain and an aspirant for the chairmanship of Khana local government area of Rivers State and native of Sogho was assassinated in his home in Eleme just before the party primary elections. 

In 2010, Mr Pius Gbarazia, an Ogoni born Canadian who visited Nigeria and a lecturer at the Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Port Harcourt, Engr. Clement Faah, both native of Yeghe in Gokana local government, were killed by gunmen in their hometown. There have been no investigations into those killings.

On 25th, March 2019, Mr. Fidelis Nwiyor,  a Director of Federal Ministry Education who visited his home town Bien-Gwara for his brother’s funeral was assassinated without arrest or investigation until date.

It is disturbing that relatives, like the wife of late Dr.Lucky Kina,  a Port-Harcourt based ophthalmologist assassinated on 24th November 2018 and others who attempt to seek justice for the victims are trailed by assailants (unknown gunmen) who kill and persecute citizens with impunity.

Prior to the 2016 election rerun for the Rivers South East Senatorial District, at least 26 persons were killed including traders and students who came to the Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic to pick up their NYSC call-up letters. No one had been held accountable for these killings.

The disappearance of notable persons and killing of political actors is  something that deserves more serious attention especially with the revelation by Chief Gani Topba that Senator Barinada Mpigi is responsible for the attack and attempt to murder him in March 2023.

NUOS expects and demands that public officers and a serving Senator, as in this instance, should live above board and uphold the integrity that is expected of holders of such positions. 

NUOS USA notes that it is particularly striking that Chief Gani Topba during the radio programme challenged Senator to prove him wrong and repeatedly emphasised his readiness to prove his case.

NUOS USA makes bold to state its rejection of people whose credibility are questionable from holding public offices that require trust and integrity and notes that this instance involving Senator Barinada Mpigi is not only an embarrassment to the nation but could suggest a strong alliance between the police and criminal elements in the Ogoni area if no serious action is taken.

Recalling the role of some police officers in the attempt on the life of the president of MOSOP on January 2, 2020, NUOS USA believes that an investigation into the strong allegations made by Chief Topbaa will not only expose one of the criminal cabals in Ogoni but also help the dwindling reputation and negative image held about the Nigerian Police especially in respect of dealing with politically motivated murders.

Senator Mpigi had earlier denied the allegation made by Chief Gani Topba.

You may want to listen to Chief Gani Topba’s interview here

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