The Imo State Government has shed more light on why the Department of State Services (DSS) is still keeping in custody an Imo State Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) staff member, Casmir Chinonye Uzomah.
It will be recalled that in recent days social media has been inundated with calls for the release of Uzomah, who was arrested by the DSS for broadcasting on IBC radio station, Orient FM, which he described as defamatory song against the State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, on duty at the radio station, August 4, 2022.
IMO State Information and Strategy Commissioner Declan Emelumba said the DSS wanted to ensure that the investigation into why Uzomah was detained is not compromised.
“Some of those calling for his release out of ignorance have gone so far as to baselessly claim that he was detained on the orders of the state government,” Emelumba said in a statement.
He added, “For the avoidance of doubt, neither Imo State Government nor Imo Broadcasting Corporation is responsible for the arrest of the said Casmir Chinonye Uzomah. He was arrested by the DSS for disseminating subversive material that could threaten national security.
“The DSS has confirmed that upon his arrest, he made a written confession that the said offensive and harmful song which he broadcast was given to him by certain collaborators, in a USB stick, and he duly entered it into smuggled into the IBC studio and deliberately had it aired, in violation of his terms of employment and broadcast industry ethics.
“This riotous and highly subversive song portrayed the Governor of the State, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimma, as a murderer, a vampire and a bloodsucker. It was as bad as that, and even worse. Yet a government employee had the audacity to play the song on a state-owned radio station. If that doesn’t qualify for the height of brazenness and willful subversion, then nothing else can.
“This was a clear case of criminal libel against a man who has never been charged with a serious crime or convicted in court. The purpose, of course, was not just to denigrate the governor, but to bring maliciously damaging his reputation and inciting the public against the government.
“Those who talk casually about freedom and democracy in this case either ignore the potential crime of treason committed by Casmir Chinonye Uzomah or they are hopelessly mischievous.
“Indeed, it may not be far from the truth to conclude that those at the forefront of demanding his release may indeed know how he came to about the offending song. That might just explain why they want him off the hook fast enough that they can obstruct other chances to get to the root of who did what and why.
“It is instructive to note that in addition to sabotaging his employers, Casmir Chinonye Uzomah also incurred the wrath of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), which questioned IBC for violating its code.
“These are the important issues for which the DSS carefully tries to reach its distant and immediate motivations.
“And according to the explanation given by the DSS, the co-conspirators, indicated by Mr. Uzomah, in his declaration, are on the run. The DSS insists that they must be apprehended and questioned alongside Casmir Chinonye Uzomah to establish their motive loss.
“It is therefore important that while we exercise the right to request the release of a detainee, we must not sweep under the rug the need to first establish the motive for the suspect’s action, including the hasty release will most likely jeopardize investigations.
“A man who, acting in conjunction with unscrupulous elements, might brazenly use a government station to turn the public against the governor of the state, might as well be considering doing something more dangerous by using the same gang. This is why we believe that the DSS is right to insist on the importance and urgency of helping them find their collaborators so that the motive for their action can be unraveled and judiciously put to rest.