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19.08.2021 news For over 60 Days, IRT Policemen have Detained 21-Year-Old Lady, ‘Used her as Cook, Cleaner’

Published 19th Aug, 2021

By Mariam Hamzat

On June 17, 2021, operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Tiger Base, Owerri, Imo State, arrested Glory Okolie as bait to get IPOB members, and they kept her for several weeks as a maid.

When Glory went out on the said day and did not return, her family was devastated and took to the streets to look for her. Fearing that she might have been involved in an accident or may have died, they visited hospitals and mortuaries. Unknown to them, she had been arrested by IRT officers, who are quite notorious for making arrests for no offence.

The first inkling of Glory’s whereabouts came at the end of June when a young man freed from Tiger Base told them he had seen her in custody. He revealed that Glory had been turned into a maid who cooked and cleaned for the officers.

Promptly, Glory’s family members visited the IRT office but were denied the opportunity to see her. Rather, they were made to pay some money.

An investigation by Behind Bars Right Initiative (BBI) revealed that Glory was arrested as bait to arrest an IPOB/ESN member she had a relationship with. Further investigations revealed that she was later transferred to an Abuja prison and tagged an IPOB/ESN member. 

Payment made to officers Credit: BBI

All of these were contained in the statement released by BBI. He explained that the young girl, who enrolled for the 2021 JAMB exam, was arrested and had been detained for days.

“Glory was arrested and used as a soft target to arrest her male friend who is allegedly an IPOB member. After arrest, they refused to let her go and turned her to their cook and laundry servant,” Harrison, co-founder of BBI, wrote on Facebook. 

Ofilli Maureen Oby, one of the lawyers working with BBI on Glory’s case, told FIJ the initiative was working hard to secure her release.

“We have been able to confirm that she was arrested and transferred to Abuja. Our team of about nine lawyers, including Harrison, will be going there soon to secure her release. If that doesn’t work, then we will be taking further legal steps,” she said.

IRT’S HISTORY OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE

Glory has been arrested for over 60 days now for no offence and it is not the first time IRT officers at Tiger Base, Owerri, will be making such an arrest.

Chikezie Harris, who is also from Owerri, revealed that other than using arrested ladies as maids, they go further to use them to satisfy their sexual pleasures.

Julian, another lady, also said the officers arrested her father and held him for months, not allowing him contact the family.

“My dad has been missing since 2009. It took us months to trace him to their prison. My mum paid a lot of money to release him, to no avail. We’ve given up and even lost my mum in the process,” she wrote on Facebook.

However, Olawoyin Mustapha, a legal practitioner, stated that the detention of Glory or anyone as bait is illegal. 

“Section 8 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Imo State, 2020, expressly prohibits the Police from arresting a person in place of another who is suspected to have committed an offence. So, they should not have arrested her in the first place.”

Published 19th Aug, 2021

By Mariam Hamzat

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