Monday, 26 February 2018

3 Weeks After Veteran Benue Journalist Still Missing


It has emerged that a 64 year old retired journalist, Inalegwu Odeh has suddenly disappeared and has not been found since leaving his home in January. Odeh, a former Press secretary to the former military governor of Benue state, Group Captain Jonah Jang was said to have left his house, in the morning of January 6th, around 6:30 for his usual jogging and did not return. The elder brother of the missing Inalegwu, Okpachu Odeh, who narrated the story to newsmen, during the family’s visit to the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom to intimate him about the development, said on January 6, his brother woke up around 6:30am and told the children in the house that he was going out for his usual morning jogging and did not return.


This is one month and 3 weeks and nobody has heard about him. He noted that after speaking with his children Inalegwu left the house leaving his phone behind. But under normal circumstances he usually returned home between 8am -9 am. According to Okpachu Odeh, the family was yet to know whether his brother was kidnapped, killed or committed suicide.“We have searched for him all around but to no avail, even if he was knocked down by a vehicle in Makurdi, by now we would have been contacted but since then, nobody has contacted us, we have not received any message from anybody about his whereabouts”


"We have gone round all the mortuaries in Makurdi. There is a search group comprising of the police and Civil Defence. Some of his friends are also involved in the search.“We have also conducted a search along the river Benue hoping that if he even committed suicide or something, his corpse would have now been seen, the search party is still on.“We have even gone to the suburb of Makurdi and spoken with the vigilante and given them money for logistics, picture of the missing Inalegwu and phone number in case anyone have seen him whether dead or alive.”Okpachu Odeh however lamented the inability of the police to conduct further investigation into the issue. "At the initial stage, I reported the matter to the police, but the irony of it is that they have never been to the house.


"They don’t even know the location of the house even though I gave them the house address. “I expected them to have come to the house to do more investigation to find out whether they could get a clue of possible instances which could have led to his sudden disappearance. When asked whether his missing brother had a problem with anybody, he said, “ he had some issues with his wife, but this is family problem. “You know he was sick and had a major operation for prostate enlargement and was yet to fully recover.“He used to complain that the wife was becoming too demanding, and was maltreating him.


He came home between late last November and early December and we settled the matter traditionally. When he returned to Makurdi, two weeks after he called again to complain that the problem resurfaced but I advised him to deal with it through the children. "He sent me a text two days after he had settled the problem with his family, only to disappear that weekend.”Okpachu appealed to the Benue State government to assist the family in the search of Inalegwu. Responding, governor Samuel Ortom who described Inalegwu as a man of integrity urged security agencies to intensify their efforts in the search to ensure that Inalegwu is brought back alive.


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