Princewill Osaroejiji, the erstwhile youth leader in Eleme who was declared wanted by the Rivers State government has reportedly been pardoned by Governor Nyesom Wike after a meeting with top government officials in a bid settle the dispute.
Sources knowledgeable in the matter told theportcitynews that the youth leader met top officials of the Peoples Democratic Party and other government officials on Sunday in Port Harcourt and was subsequently pardoned.
The sources did not disclose where the meeting took place or the officials of the government that met with Osaroejiji.
Theportcitynews learnt that Wike decided to pardon the youth leader after he stated his own side of the story during a radio programme in Port Harcourt, subsequently proving his innocence.
It was further gathered that Osaroejiji will return to his hometown, Alode where he would be reinstated to his position on Monday.
Rivers State Government on Saturday, the 9th of May, 2020, declared the youth leader wanted.
A statement by Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, the state’s commissioner for information said that Osaroejiji is wanted for various criminal activities.
The statement also said that a Five Million Naira reward will be given to anyone who will give law enforcement agencies useful information that will lead to his arrest.
Nsirim added that Prudent Hotel, Alode, Eleme and Etemeteh Hotel, Onne are to be demolished for flouting Government directive on the closure of hotels in the State.
But Osaroejiji had three days after he was declared wanted, fingered the Commissioner of Finance, Isaac Kamalu for stage-managing and falsifying acts of events that led to the demolition of Prodest Hotel in Eleme and his being declared wanted by the state government.
He said he does not own the hotel as alleged by Wike, adding that he stopped the members of the Eleme coronavirus taskforce, the team which was led by a man he nominated, from extorting money from the hotel.
He also said that the hotel was not in operation as at the time it was demolished.
The wanted youth leader said he was informed about the activities of the taskforce and talked to the boys to leave the hotel when he got there and they left peacefully.
He said his nominee called the commissioner of finance, and both of them made up a false story to the Governor which led to the demolition of the hotel.
“That day, l was called by the Manager of Prodest Hotel complaining that there were some men that came there demanding for money because the hotel had been shut down for long. When I got there they were people I nominated into the COVID-19 Taskforce.
“They were just four persons. How can I beat up people I nominated? I told them that asking for bribes from a hotel that was not in operation was wrong and was not the mandate of the Governor. I asked them if the hotel was in operation, and even if it was, do they need to extort money from the hotel management?
“Some political leaders want to fight me, that was why they misinformed the Governor about me and Governor believe them without hearing me”.
He said the wounded people in the hospital claimed by the state government to be members of the taskforce were lies.
“Nobody beat anybody. Those photos with people on bandages in the hospital are all lies. When Governor brought the Eleme Local government share of food as palliatives on Sunday, all those people feigning ill in the hospital were all sharing food and every Ward went with their own. Some of them were seen sharing food on Monday.
“How can you, after sharing food on Monday, morning and later in the evening you go and lie down on the hospital bed with your body bandaged?. If they were beaten up and hospitalized could they be seen sharing food on Monday and everybody saw them?”
“I am neither a cultist or a kidnapper as alleged. I fight cultism and kidnapping in Eleme. I am married for the past 17 years and have never been in handcuffs or arrested for any crimes. Those who want me out of the way decided to frame me by passing misinformation to the Governor.”
The sources, however, said the youth leader is expected to make a statement later today on the way forward.