Patrick Akporuno, the chairman of the Delta Post Primary Education Board (PPEB), was last week arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) over an alleged illegal possession of a firearm.
It was learned that trouble started for Mr. Akporuno over two weeks ago during a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) meeting at his residence in Owhelogbo, Isoko North local government area of Delta State. At the meeting, he was said to have imposed on the people his cousin who is contesting for the councillorship position in the forthcoming local government elections.
According to “Akporuno in his usual larger-than-life” manner, threatened the party members in the ward,” said a PDP youth who attended the meeting, warning that anyone who dared to oppose his cousin’s councillorship candidature would be ruthlessly dealt with.
According to the youth, Akporuno said that governor Okowa had already instructed him to be in charge of the party in the ward, and that he had the governor’s backing to install whoever he chose.
He said some of the party youths present challenged the PPEB chairman. “But this did not go down well with Akporuno and he used an object suspected to be a cut-to-size gun to hit one of the youths who challenged him and while blood was gushing out from his head, Akporuno smartly put a distress call to men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Ozoro to come to his rescue that he’s been attacked by cultists and armed robbers in his house and SARS came and arrested these innocent youths to Asaba and kept in detention for over two weeks before they were charged to court.”
It was however learned that the youths, after languishing in detention for that length of time, were granted bail by an Ozoro Magistrates court but were immediately rearrested at the premises with the instructions of Mr. Akporuno, an action that was strongly condemned by the Magistrate. They were finally granted bail a few days later.
According to a source, shortly after the release of the youths, one of them, whose uncle is said to be a Benin City lawyer simply identified as Nathaniel Oba, allegedly petitioned the PPEB boss of Zone 5, in the Edo State capital, leading to Mr. Akporuno being was whisked away for illegal possession of a firearm.
Our correspondent gathered that it took the intervention of the Bishop of Oleh Diocese, John Usiwoma Aruakpor and other prominent sons of Isoko and Delta State, to gain the release of the PPEB boss.
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Office of Zone 5, Benin City, DSP Emeka Ihenacho, who could not confirm the arrest of the PPEB chairman, simply said there may have been a petition against him, but did not disclose the reasons for the possible petition. “I was not told about his arrest, but it is possible he must have been petitioned and based on that, he was invited.”
Also telephoned for a comment, Mr. Akporuno tried to bully our correspondent. “You are very stupid, what is your business if I was arrested in Zone 5, Benin?” he shouted. “Is that how you practice your journalism?” he further asked, before hanging up the call.
Speaking on the issue, Mr. Oba confirmed the board chairman’s arrest in Benin City but did not disclose the content of his petition.
Appealing that the matter should not be reported in the press, he said: “We are already meeting for settlement. We are brothers, though we taught him a lesson. We dealt with him and next time he won’t frame up innocent people.”
Confiding in our correspondent, a former ward chairman in the community, said that since Akporuno was appointed the chairman of PPEB, the community has not known any peace and that oppression, injustice, and intimidation has become the order of the day.
“He used the name of the governor to intimidate everybody,” the source said. “He fights people in public. He [is unbefitting of] that office he is occupying. Very irrational and erratic human being. As we talk he is having a serious battle with school principals over some illegal imposition of levies. Meet school principals they will oblige you.”