It has been more than two years since the abduction of Mr. Obiora Agbasimalo, the Labour Party's gubernatorial candidate in the 2021 Anambra State election, by unidentified gunmen, and his location remains undisclosed.
SaharaReporters had in September 2021 reported that Agbasimalo was kidnapped by the assailants on September 18, while on a campaign tour to Azhia in the Ihiala Local Government Area of the state.
He has not been seen or heard of ever since the abduction.
Meanwhile, some Nigerians have been asking questions about his whereabouts and why security agencies, Anambra State government have remained conspicuously silent.
SaharaReporters in September 2022 reported that a human rights activist and lawyer, Prof Chidi Odinkalu, took to his X (formerly Twitter) account to question why the leadership of Labour Party and its supporters had been silent about his disappearance.
The former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and senior team manager for the Africa Program of Open Society Justice Initiative, in a tweet had said, "#OnThisDay in 2021, Obiora Agbasimalo, candidate of #LabourParty @NgLabour in #AnambraDecides2021, was abducted on his way to what was supposed to be a campaign rally. He has been disappeared since then & both the leadership of @NgLabour & its supporters have forgotten abt him."
A coalition of Concerned Civil Society Organisations for Truth and Justice on December 12, 2021, had written to the Nigerian government and other security agencies to find Agbasimalo, giving them a 7-day ultimatum to do that or face civil disobedience.
Phil Roberts, who spoke on behalf of the coalition, said Obiora’s disappearance had triggered concerns from family members and friends, adding, “Whether he is dead or alive, no one knows and all these questions are begging for answers."
“Who kidnapped Obiora Agbasimalo and how was he kidnapped?" he asked.
“Already family and friends are seeking for Obiora’s safety and his eventual release from his captors. We are as a matter of urgency by this press conference respectfully urging Mr President to direct the Nigerian Police Force, the Department of State Services DSS and other relevant security agencies to get to the root of this matter, in the interest of the peace and stability of not just the southeast region, but the nation at large.”
Roberts added that Nigeria must not continue to slide in the direction of chaos where people could no longer have freedom of movement or association.
Meanwhile, the Anambra High Court sitting in Nnewi has remanded two persons suspected to have a hand in the missing of Chief Obiora Agbasimalo.
The suspects, Jude Chukwudi Odimegwu and Nwokolo Chukwudi Maxwell, are facing a criminal charge bothering on the kidnapping of Agbasimalo while on a campaign tour at Lilu in Ihiala local government area ahead of the 2021 election.