I write to strongly condemn the false and defamatory statements against the Deputy Governor of Imo State  Prince Eze Madumere  by Sandra Duru published in some media sites.  Sandra in her publication  said she  caught Madumere in bisexual act with  her  ex-husband. She has been making conflicting statements in her quest to blackmail the Deputy Governor of Imo State. Normally I would have investigated her story but I did not because she once phoned me to do the fake story for her. As a Columnist I have been involved in the struggle for good governance in Imo State  with series of media articles. It is on record  that I launched the first media attack on Owelle  Rochas Okorocha when he became governor  of Imo State. For all my human fallibility, I have sought to make my case with fervor and some measure of clarity. But one thing I hate strongly is blackmail.

I know very well that when you are made a top government official you should be prepared  for rumours  and blackmail capable of breaking  your heart. You will begin to hear stories you have never heard about yourself in the social media  and you must learn to live with them because it is one of the prices one must pay as a leader, and you must develop thick skin. Being a government official is a really high-risk profession and many public officials  live in dread of  their faces appearing in flagrante delicto  online and doom their careers. Government officials in Nigeria have found themselves  trapped by blackmailers  who capitalize on the public’s mounting disgust for wayward behavior. But even those who have resisted wrongdoing are not immune. Aided by computer software, blackmailers sometimes fake  their quarry’s likeness into not-safe-for-work images. In addition to looking over their shoulders for antigraft inspectors, public officials contend with blackmailers who are  armed with honey traps, video cameras or worse: Photoshop.

Although blackmail is one of the most common ways in which public officials  are victimized in Nigeria, it has proven difficult to deal with and has  gone largely unaddressed within a human rights framework. Indeed, targets are often victimized precisely because they have a great deal to lose and feel they are unable to draw on networks of support. It requires a great deal of time, effort, and skill to carefully extricate a victim from a blackmail situation.

Like I said, I hate blackmailers. I can no longer remain silent in this matter. Sandra Duru  has sunk   into deeper, more unimaginably treacherous nadirs of knavery by the day, and it is about time  she  is exposed for the sleazy, scandalous rapscallion that she  is. It is time to speak up. Sandra Duru  called me on phone by 10 pm in the night in February  this year . She  claimed  to come from  Ezimoha Osuama in Isiala Mbano L.G.A  of Imo State . She told me to   do a story  against the Deputy Governor of Imo State Prince Eze Madumere (then Chief of Staff). That her  political sponsors will pay me well. From my talk with her, she was accusing Madumere with the help of a politician who wants to ruin Madumere’s political career. What she doesn’t know is that I have never received a dime from any sponsor. I can state with pride: I have never been for sale to any bidder. Nobody but I dictates what I write. My friends and admirers know this. I told her to her face that I will not be part of  her blackmailing  plans. She went ahead to meet other columnists who fall to her arrant nonsense.

I hate people with  odiously invidious history of blackmail. I hate  crude, boorish, philistine, and disreputable blackmailers  and  degenerated  moral cripples  of the darkest dye. I frown at those who beguile the unsuspecting with titillating lies and innuendoes. Prince Madumere  we know is trained in the US and at no time was he accused of  homosexual act but trust politics and what can come out of it. People like Sandra Duru should be made to stop their stupid blackmail.

Sandra Duru we know  has  blackmailed  notable personalities in Nigeria. She was said to have blackmailed a onetime Inspector General of Police claiming he slept with her. The unacceptability of blackmail and extortion has been affirmed repeatedly in the international legal and policy sphere. Article 17(1-2) of ICCPR  offers the strongest condemnation of blackmail in the ICCPR, stating: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family and home .Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” These instruments do not only condemn forms of blackmail that interfere with the victim’s life by forcing them to buy their privacy for a price. They also condemn those threats that limit the victim’s autonomy by holding them hostage to the whims and demands of their blackmailer.

The forced surrender of goods and possessions, whether in blackmail or extortion, further violates Article 14 of the African Charter, which states that, “the right to property shall be guaranteed.It may only be encroached upon in the interest of public need or in the general interest of the community and in accordance with the provisions of appropriate laws.Sandra Duru’s false accusation against the deputy governor of Imo State is  criminal to say the least and must be condemned.I call on Imolites  to speak against blackmail. I call on  relevant human right lawyers in Imo State  and  the civil society to  take concrete steps to address  the Sandra Duru’s blackmail of the Imo Deputy Governor . Human right  lawyers  must commence immediately the process of  fighting against this unrepentant blackmailer. She   should be called upon  to explain herself before the civil society groups .  I am not against anyone calling for accountability in governance but I am against disreputable blackmailers. Crime no dey pay.

-Kenneth Uwadi, Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria

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