From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The dust raised by alleged threat to life by Ovia North-East local government area of Edo state, Barrister (Mrs) Lucy Omagbon against some members of the local wing of National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) appears to be far from over.
About three NULGE officials in the council were last week reportedly quizzed by the Department of State Security Service (DSS) in connection with the matter.
Samson Igiebor, a member, the union’s vice-president, Comrade Tesco Osadare, and human rights activist, Patrick Eholor were among those invited by DSS acting on a petition which may not be unconnected to the disagreement over the alleged dismissal of 160 council workers.
The threat to life allegations, labelled as “a diabolical political witch-hunting scheme to damage their reputation” dangling on their neck, sources say the council Chairman, Mrs Omagbon’s hard-line stance on the group was for self-preservation, declaring that she was unsafe.
It was learnt that Mrs Omagbon also alleged that she was trailed three weeks ago by a Toyota Camry car and that she has also received a number of text messages from certain numbers and pointed accusing fingers at the three persons mentioned.
DSS sources said two among the trio who honoured the invitation were made to depose to a written oath of good conduct and their personal data were taken to cross-check call logs from the relevant telecommunications services providers, in order to ascertain recent calls or SMS from the lines.
Trouble started for the union members after 160 of them, some of whom were employed since 2006, were sacked by the council boss for raising eyebrows over unwholesome practices by the council boss.
Fourteen of them have since been recalled while the fate of 126 others is uncertain for alleging that the chairman recently withdrew some revenue collectors from the field in favour of consultants as well as payment of salaries to three children of the council chairman.