Mr. Stephen Alefia, the Controller of News and Current Affairs at the Ebonyi State Broadcasting Service was, by a letter dated February 5, 2007, suspended indefinitely from office for allegedly causing the publication in some newspapers the arrest and interrogation of nine commissioner of Ebonyi State.
The letter suspending Mr. Alefia with reference number 10-0015-160-A, and signed by Mr. David Otu-Fiamn, said in part: “In compliance with Reg. 11.18 of Operating Conditions of Service, the EBBS management at its meeting on Tuesday, February 5, 2007, directed that you should be suspended indefinitely from duty without pay with effect from February 2007, pending the resolution of your anti-government activities against the state government and public officers without cause or facts, which is capable of inciting the people against the government and public officers.”
Mr. Alefia petitioned the State governor Sam Egwu denying the charges and pleaded with him to intervene and reverse the “illegal and wrongful suspension” saying the allegations against him were baseless and that his suspension was a violation of civil service rules as no explanations were demanded from him in form of a query. He also entreated the governor- to advice Onyike to desist from threatening his life
Alefia, a senior management staff who had worked with the state-owned radio station for 26 years, fingered the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Abia Oyuike as the mastermind behind the suspension and accused him of unjustifiably victimizing him.
He said: “This is the height of injustice and clear case of witch-hunt designed to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.”
In a telephone reaction however, Onyike denied either ordering Alefia’s suspension or threatening him, saying he did not signed the letter. He dded: “The Ebonyi State Broadcasting Service is one of the parastatals under my ministry. I was not the one that issued him the suspension letter. It was done by the management of the service.”