FG DISMISSES PETITION AGAINST AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE TO GERMANY ACCUSED OF FORGERY, PERJURY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING, SAYS IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR

The federal government says the allegations against Regina Ocheni, deputy ambassador-designate to Germany, are borne out of family issues.

Ocheni is one of the ambassadors-designate approved for posting by President Muhammadu Buhari in January.

Following the approval, one Winston Obikwelu, in a petition to the German ambassador in Nigeria, accused Ocheni of corruption, human trafficking, forgery and perjury.

He asked the embassy to deny her access to Germany and presentation of letter of credence, pending investigation and subsequent prosecution.

Reacting to the allegation on Wednesday, the ministry of foreign affairs said the petition was aimed at “assassinating” Ocheni’s character.

According to a statement by Ferdinand Nwonye, the ministry’s spokesperson, Ocheni was involved in handling issues related to the death of Obikwelu’s ex-wife, which led to the couple’s children being handed over to their maternal grandparents.

It noted that Obikwelu’s agitation “could as such be considered a family affair”, adding that no staff of the ministry should be dragged into it.

“The publication and the alleged petition are purported attempts to assassinate the character of Ambassador Ingekim Regina Ocheni, for acting in her official capacity as a former Director Training & Staff Welfare of the Ministry and in accordance with extant rules,” the statement reads.

“The Ministry further wishes to clarify that Amb. Ingekim Regina Ocheni, as Director, Training & Staff Welfare, was saddled with the responsibility of handling issues related to the death of Mrs Emmanuella Obikwelu, a staff of the ministry and a former wife to Mr Obikwelu, as expected of her office.

“This eventually led to the handing of the children Mrs Obikwelu had with her ex-husband to their grandparents, Mr and Mrs Godian Amadi, who double as her biological parents, whom she had registered as her next-of-kin.

“The Ministry, therefore, wishes to reemphasise that the children are currently in the custody of their grandparents and parents of the deceased, who she documented as her next-of-kin in accordance with extant regulations.

“The agitation instigated by Mr Obikwelu could as such be considered a family affair, which the Ministry or any of its officials should not be dragged into.

“Alternatively, aggrieved persons may wish to seek redress in a court of competent jurisdiction.”