A comedian in Imo state, Franklin Ozuruigbo, has alleged that he was brutalised by the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Amara Iwuanyanwu, over a Facebook post the lawmaker considered offensive.
Ozuruigbo told journalists in Owerri that the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Speaker, Paul Duru, lured him to Iwuanyanwu’s lodge in Owerri on Friday where he was severely beaten and assaulted.
According to him, he was deceived to wait for Iwuanyanwu who arrived at midnight and ordered his men to beat him up for criticising him on social media.
The comedian, who hails from Dim Na Nume Isu, the same community with the Deputy Speaker, alleged that he was whisked to the state police command headquarters in Owerri after the beating with an order that he should be detained.
He said it took the timely intervention of the member representing Nwangele/Nkwerre/Njaba/Isu Federal Constituency of the state, Ugonna Ozurigbo, who arrived at the command headquarters with his aides the same night for him to be released.
The comedian said, “The Deputy Speaker told me before taking me to the police headquarters that no human being from Nwangele could secure my release. ‘I will make sure you rot in police custody. You can’t be insulting me on Facebook and get away with it. I will tell you that we own this state and country’.
“I want the world to hold the Deputy Speaker responsible should anything happen to me or any member of my family. I also fear that I was poisoned at his lodge because I took the drinks they gave to me before his arrival because I never suspected any foul play. I have been having stomach upset since I took that drink.”
But when contacted, the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Speaker said Ozuruigbo was not brutalised by his principal.
He said the comedian was arrested following a petition his principal wrote to the state commissioner of police on character defamation.