The Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on New Media, Reno Bemigho Omokri, has been fingered in a burglary case.
Omokri was alleged to be at the head of some suspected armed men who reportedly invaded a property in Bendel Estate, Warri, Delta State and carted away N25 million meant for a pro-Jonathan support group.
Reliable sources disclosed that Omokri had on Tuesday deployed over nine armed mobile policemen with some “area boys” to a property in the DPPA Housing Estate, Warri, which he claimed to be his late mother’s building in a bid to forcefully evict the occupants whom he had a pending court case with.
The invaders, who allegedly stole the N25 million kept in a “Ghana must go” bag in one of the bedrooms after it was ransacked thoroughly, were said to have caused serious scare in the neighbourhood as they shot sporadically, while they carried out the onslaught on the building.
They gave the impression that it was an armed robbery operation.
Sources said the invaders, who were well armed, gained access to the compound after cutting the gate, which had padlock on it, and reportedly climbed through the roof after it was pulled off.
A source said that the invaders’ mission was to make the building uninhabitable for the occupants in a bid to force them out.
It was learnt however that the invaders, who hurriedly fled the scene after coincidently laying hands on the “Ghana must go” bag, forgetfully left an “incriminating” write up which had the inscription: “Eviction notice.”
It bore Omokri’s name.
The source said they had wanted to paste the notice on the wall of the building.
Sources said that a similar incident happened in 2014 when the estranged Omokri had after a court proceeding on the case instituted by him, mobilized some persons to the premises and boldly painted on the fence the inscription: “This house belongs to Bemigho Omokri, Fina Oyoro is being evicted at Customary Court in case No 561/2012.”
This was even when the court was yet to decide on the matter.
Confirming the development, Prince Alex Oyoro, a former Peoples Democratic Party Ughelli North/Udu Federal Constituency aspirant, told newsmen that he was in Abuja when he was called that armed men unlawfully and illegally invaded his home and had stolen the N25 million.
Oyoro said this was after wreaking damage on the building on behalf of Omokri, who has been harassing, threatening and intimidating his family members over the disputed property, over which which no court of competent jurisdiction had adjudicated on.
He said: “I was called by my wife that nine armed men invaded my house and that they came with hammer, cutters, ladders and other items.
“About six of them wore police uniform and the others on mufti and they came with three cars.
“They broke the gate, some jumped over the fence about 8am and tried to force their way into the house.
“When they couldn’t, they used the ladder to climb through the ceiling and started ransacking the house for what I don’t know.
“They saw a “Ghana must go” bag containing N25 million and carried it.
“The money belonged to the South-South Mandate and I was to deposit it the following day when I return from Abuja.
“But it appears they calculated I was not in town and that was when they stormed my house.
“As soon as they got the bag, they fled, but unfortunately for them, they left a vital information, which contained the name of Reno Bemigho Omokri, who happened to be the Special Assistant to the President on New Media.
“Before now, this Bemigho had been harassing me, claiming that he is the owner of the house and that I should leave the house.
“Before now, he had also taken me to court on the same issue and the matter is still pending in court but he has been trying to get justice through the back door.
“I don’t know why a man who claims he is working for the President should use the seat of the President to intimidate a law abiding Nigerian during this electioneering time.
“I believe the attack was political because if it was a landlord and tenant issue, they could have just pasted the purported eviction notice, which ordinarily goes with court judgement.
“But in this case, it was not so.
“They invaded the house, ransacked it and stole from it while shooting sporadically in the name of eviction.
“So I believe it was political because Reno Omokri, we know his antecedent.
“He was an aide to Atiku Abubakar and it was through him that they planted him in the Presidency again.
“So if he is working from the opposition and he is a mole in the Presidency, this incidence would reveal it.
“If Omokri is hiding under the umbrella of the Presidency to commit crime, the world would know because this is injustice. The trauma we have passed through would not be left to go like that.
“We have been sleeping in this roofless house like for three days now.
“It is unfair, an injustice and oppression of the highest order and I pray the law must take its course.
“I am also crying to the civil society organizations to stand by me on this because this is oppression in high places.
“I have not done anything wrong to Omokri.
“I was not the one who took him to court.
“He did and the courts are yet to decide.
“So where have I gone wrong that Omokri is after our lives?”
Oyoro, who is a coordinator of the Jonathan/Sambo Support Group, South-South Mandate, while calling on the police to investigate the matter and ensure that those who invaded his house and stole from it were brought to book, called on Omokri not to take the laws into his hand but abide by the judgement of the court, which was yet to be given.
Omokri and the Oyoros have been having a running legal battle over the building, which was reportedly leased to Oyoro’s wife, Fina Maiki, by Omokri’s late mother, who was a family friend of the former.
She died in 2004 while the lease agreement was still in force.
It was learnt that the building, located at Plot 17, 19 Street, DDPA Housing Estate, Ugborikoko-Effurun, opposite the Warri residence of a former Governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, was abandoned for four years and was in a dilapidated state prior to the lease agreement.
It was given extensive renovation by the Oyoros after the lease agreement they had with the late mother of Omokri, Helen Igbene, who then resided in Enugu State.
The source said that after the death of Igbene, a Lagos-based lawyer, Festus Anekwu, wrote the Oyoros that administrators had been appointed for the property.
However, Omokri surfaced suddenly to lay claim to the property.
He said he was the eldest son of the late Igbene.
Sources said the Oyoros were constrained to pay for the leased property again to Omokri.
This was between 2005 and 2007 after pressure was mounted on them by Omokri, who at a time thumb printed a written agreement for a receipt of N175,000 that he reportedly collected personally and another which was paid to his wife’s account number.
In an earlier petition dated October 21, 2014 on behalf of Fina Maiki-Oyoro by F. O. Olokor (Esq) and made available to newsmen, the petitioner alleged that following another letter threatening eviction from the lawyer of the family of Igbene, the Oyoros were constrained to pay rent from 2007 to 2013 to the chambers of Urowayino on behalf of one Misan Igbene-Okotigor (acting on behalf of the administrators of the late Helen Igbene estate) after a suit No UACC/234/2010 was instituted at the Uvwie Area Customary Court, Ugborikoko-Effurun.
But irked by the development, Omokri, who purportedly had travelled out of the country after the tenure of his former principal, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had ended, was said to have taken the Oyoros to court in suit No UACC/561/2012, which is pending at the Area Customary Court, Effurun.
Maiki-Oyoro, in her petition, said since Omokri instituted the case against them, he has been harassing and threatening the family and at some point in 2012 at about9pm, he deployed armed men who claimed they were from Abuja to harass and threaten her family.
The petition said that Maiki-Oyoro, who had been traumatised as a result of the incessant harassment and threat by Omokri in the matter, lost control of her car and was involved in an accident on her way from the Ugborikoko Police Station in February 2014, where the case was reported and was hospitalised at the Oghara Teaching Hospital, Oghara.
The petitioner also alleged that Omokri had on November 13, 2014 used the purported official letter head paper of the Presidency to initiate a false petition against the Oyoros in a bid to further intimidate the latter.
The petition by Maiki-Oyoro’s lawyer said further: “That Mr. Bemigho Omokri, who claims to be a Media Assistant, in the Presidency, did this ostensibly for the purpose of intimidating our client out of the property even when there is a pending proceeding in the court over the issue.”
Omokri could not be reached as at the time of filing this report.