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Stop Campaign of Falsehood Against Victor Chukwuemeka Nnam – HURIWA

Against the backdrop of a vicious and sustained campaign of calumny occasioned by the recent resignation of the Enugu State  Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development; Dr. Victor Chukwuemeka Nnam, the leading civil rights advocacy group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on the good people of Enugu State not to allow sponsors of this campaign of falsehood and calumny to further rubbish Dr. Nnam’s hard fought spotless reputation to achieve their evil plans.

In a statement, jointly signed by the National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanual Onwubiko and Media Affairs Director; Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA  expressed surprise that a hodgepodge of groups made up of concerned government agencies, organized labour Unions and some others have devoted resources to run media narratives in the major national dailies to keep desperately clutching at straws at every turn.

“Currently, they are using a compromised high profile activists and media platforms to launch personal attacks against the former Commissioner. To achieve their nefarious objectives, they have allegedly forged fake documents and allegedly induced unprofessional media platforms which lack integrity to publish unverified falsehoods against the institution.

“They have also tried to instigate the security agencies and the Enugu State House of Assembly through baseless unsubstantiated reports based on the same fake allegations which they have sponsored in the social media.

“The allegations have ranged from his resignation being an avenue to evade prosecution over land mismanagement to land racketeering. Significantly, despite the media campaign and reports, no evidence of impropriety has been found”, HURIWA reiterated.

Reacting to some of the allegations, HURIWA praised the former Commissioner for toeing the part of resignation in the midst of alleged undue interference from various quarter which is uncommon to politicians in Africa.

HURIWA recalled that Dr. Nnam, who was appointed commissioner by His Excellency Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in 2019, had in his resignation letter dated October 9, 2021,  stated that he resigned because a proposal to reform land administration in the state was turned down without any reason given.

“The former commissioner had been battling with some of his former colleagues and recently, with the state House of Assembly over allegations of land racketeering.

“In the resignation letter titled: ‘Letter of resignation of my appointment as the Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, Enugu State,’ Nnam cited the recent removal of the professional heads of a department under him as a reason for his resignation.

“The letter which he personally addressed to the governor, partly read: ‘Sir, when you appointed me the Commissioner of Lands and Urban Development, Enugu State in 2019, I accepted the appointment with the hope that I was going to be allowed to bring on board world best practice in land administration.

“I immediately proposed the establishment of a GIS land administration system to enable the ministry stamp out land grabbers and create investors’ confidence in our land system. The proposal was rejected without explanation till date.

“However, the reason for my resignation is the recent removal of the professional heads of department under me on punitive grounds for simply doing their jobs diligently. My conscience will no longer allow me to continue to serve your administration while those innocent professional senior civil servants are punished for doing the right thing”, HURIWA quoted.

Again, reacting on the issue of the Enugu State chapter of the  Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), HURIWA noted that though the matter is already a subject of litigation and as such there are things that may not be said, but the former Commissioner has challenged that NULGE with all the existing documents in the ministry, do not have any TITLE to the land.

HURIWA again quoted Dr. Nnam thus: “If NULGE claims to be the rightful owners of the said land, why are they afraid of the court? Why can’t they go to court to prove their case instead of running from pillar to post looking for nonexistent documents? This is the main reason why professional staff of the ministry were redeployed because they refused to give in to the pressure from NULGE and their likes.

“It is a common knowledge that when someone’s property is encroached on, the person have the court to run to but in this situation, NULGE that claims ownership did not go to court, rather they decided to use powerful people in government to obstruct justice. I am aware that Hymac took NULGE to court. They should go to court and present their ownership proof. NULGE has no subsisting title over the land, let alone anyone revoking it”.

Ruminating on one of the issues relating to a previous alleged land allocation by a former local Council chairman,  HURIWA queried the outlandish and utterly pedestrian claim that the resignation of Dr. Nnam was to evade probe on a 13-year old case that lacked merit even from the first instance when Ezinwa’s troubles began in 2008 and had no bearing at all with the administration of Dr. Nnam as Lands Commissioner.

Therefore, HURIWA in line with the saying that “He who come to equity must go with clean hands”, called on the Enugu State Police Commissioner; CP Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu to commence investigation and invite for interrogation, the individuals behind these unrelenting tissues of lies and innuendos targeting the person of  Dr, Chukuemeka Nnam..

“We also urge the Governor; His Excellency, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi not to be deceived by this evil campaign against the person of the former Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development because those making these baseless allegations are working hard to scuttle the government’s agenda for urban revolution in the Estate”.

Conclusively, HURIWA applauded Dr. Nnam’s reasons for resignation, while revealing that in civilized societies, it would be greeted with praise and commendation and considered noble, brave, a show of great character, integrity, and honour, rather it is being viewed in a different and negative light.

HURIWA further condemns the threats of demolition of the house reportedly belonging to the erstwhile Commissioner at Diamond Estate by the Enugu Capital Development Authority in what looks clearly like abuse of power and we call on the iconic Governor of Enugu State His Excellency Rt.Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to call this lawless agency to order.

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