Onyekwere | Linkserve Founder shot in foiled abduction bid

Onyekwere | Linkserve Founder shot in foiled abduction bid

Onyekwere | Linkserve Founder shot in foiled abduction bid

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Chima Onyekwere, Linkserve Founder/Chairman of Linkserve Limited, the pioneer Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Nigeria has survived gunshot attack after a foiled abduction at his hometown in Amachara in Abia State.

Onyekwere who survived the gunshot attacks during his early morning jogging routine on May 12, this year told Technology Times this morning that he is now recovering after the fateful incident that left him with gunshot wounds to his back and neck.

However, luck ran out for the attackers who have been apprehended by the Nigeria Police and have been charged to court, according to the recuperating Linkserve Chairman.

It was a close shave for Onyekwere, a Nigerian tech industry top player and current Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association of Nigeria (NIRA), who was on February 14, 2008 awarded the prestigious National honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) by then President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President and Commander–in–Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Onyekwere recalls that the incident occurred at about 8.45 am in his hometown in Amachara located in Umuahia, Abia State, when he was returning from his early morning jogging and was walking back to his country home.

It was a close shave for Onyekwere, a Nigerian tech industry top player and current Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association of Nigeria (NIRA), who was on February 14, 2008 awarded the prestigious National honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) by then President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President and Commander–in–Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Professor Adenike Osofisan, Member BoT of NIRA (left); Deacon Chima Onyekwere, Chairman of BoT; NIRA Reverend Sunday Folayan, President, NIRA and Mr. Muhammed Rudman, Vice President, NIRA, at a media briefing to announce the 10th Anniversary of NIRA
Technology Times file photo shows Professor Adenike Osofisan, Member BoT of NIRA (left); Deacon Chima Onyekwere, Chairman of BoT; NIRA Reverend Sunday Folayan, President, NIRA and Mr. Muhammed Rudman, Vice President, NIRA, at a media briefing to announce the 10th Anniversary of NIRA in Lagos

The Linkserve Founder says he recalls seeing a black Kia Optima car pass them by at first and drives further down the road and then makes a U-turn. The black car headed back in their direction, passed them and parked further up at a junction ahead of the road he was walking towards.

On approaching the junction, he recalls sighting seeing five men in the car and two of them wielding AK 47 assault rifles got out of the car.

At this point, one of the two men accosted him and asked him to enter the boot of the car, which had by now been opened, according to Onyekwere who tells Technology Times that he thought they were law enforcement offers “because one of them was wearing what looked like a bullet-proof vest.

“I initially thought that they were Police and asked them where we are going and where they came from”, Onyekwere says.

At that point, the armed men who had ordered everyone around to lie flat on the ground attempted to forcibly haul the Linkserve Founder into the boot of the car and simultaneously tried to dispossess him of his mobile phone. Then a full-scale scuffle ensued between them and Onyekwere.

“I threw away the phone into a compound and a scuffle now started”, according to him.

During the ensuing scuffle and while attempting to get himself free from his intending captors, he was shot at and was hit by a bullet which went through his back, hit his scapula and came out through the neck.

“The bullet hit me in the back and blood started rushing out”, Onyekwere says and by this time the gunmen left the scene of the botched abduction attempt on the Linkserve Founder.

The men who were later identified by some of the people around were later arrested in another town.

The five-man gang which included a policeman according to his account have seen been charged to court, which ordered that they be remanded in prison,

“We have since petitioned the Inspector-General of Police on the matter”, Onyekwere says to ensure that the men are brought to justice.


BIODATA | About Chima Onyekwere, Linkserve Founder/Chairman

Chima Apugo Onyekwere hails from Abia State, but was born in London, United Kingdom, on 19th May 1961. He
obtained his GCE A level at the Federal Government College Kano in 1979, and thereafter became a graduate of Geology at the University of Ife in 1985.

He later went to Lagos and Harvard Business School for a Chief Executive Programme Diploma and the Owner/President Programme Diploma Certificates respectively.

Onyekwere’s career started at Mobil Nigeria Limited in 1986, but he shortly left to found Saap – Tech Nigeria Limited a technology and service Distribution Company.

By 1996, he had founded Linkserve, Nigeria’s first Internet Service Provider (ISP), an act that earned him the label “Father of Nigerian Internet”. This Internet revolution through Linkserve changed the nature of business and transformed education in Nigeria.

 File photo shows Chima Onyekwere, Linkserve Founder/Chairman of Linkserve Limited.

File photo shows Chima Onyekwere, Linkserve Founder/Chairman of Linkserve Limited.

 

The ‘foreign-born’ Chima Onyekwere chose to invest all his adult years and considerable resources in Nigeria, even in the uncertain years of military rule. He also single-handedly founded five thriving companies some of which are Dealers Warehouse, Zee–Soft and Well–drill  and was involved in three others including Fate Foundation, an enterprise NGO focused on wealth creation and entrepreneurial development among Nigerian youths.

Chima Apugo Onyekwere, despite all these, also found time to serve his country in several public capacities. In 1999, he was appointed Consultant to the then nascent Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

He is currently the Chairman of the Technical Committee on the Nigeria TLD.ng, and in 2007 was appointed Chairman of the newly formed Internet Exchange and Peering Company called Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria Ltd (2007).

Chima Onyekwere is a recipient of several awards including the “Internet Pathfinder Award” of Nigeria’s ISP, ATCON’s “National Telecom Merit Award, and IT and Telecoms “ICT Personality of the Year Award.”

In recognition of his pioneering work in introducing the Internet into Nigeria, his immense ongoing contributions to the development of the ICT sector and the Nigerian economy at large, Chima Apugo Onyekwere, an unassuming visionary, was on the 14th of February 2008 awarded the prestigious National honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) by the President and Commander – In – Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

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