The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Imo State Chapter, on Friday opened the Human Rights help desk of the Bar Centre to address complaints of unlawful arrest and detention of Imolites by the Nigeria Police.
The announcement was made in a press release issued by the NBA.
In the past few weeks, Imo State has been a hotbed for activities by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and it’s armed wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN). The May 31 murder of Ahmad Ali Gulak, former National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Owerri, the state capital, heightened the security risk in the state.
Reports of soldiers and police raiding lodges at the Imo State University, and homes, arresting young men and accusing them of being members of IPOB, circulated the media.
Casmir Ibegbulem, a 40-year-old oil worker, was arrested by the Imo State Police Command and was wrongly accused and paraded with a group of four others as an unkown gunman. His picture circulated on social media and led to a demand for his release. Ibegbulem had gone to Imo for the burial of his in-law.
Uzor Enwere, the Publicity Secretary of NBA, Owerri said that a meeting was held with the Commissioner of Police and a Bar Center has been set up to “collate the names of innocent Imolites unjustly arrested and detained by the Nigeria Police for the purpose of securing their release”.
Enwere said that the Bar’s Human Rights committee will coordinate the help desk at the Bar Centre and entertain complaints on unlawful arrest and detention of Imolites.
“Complaints received will be taken up with the appropriate quarters in order to secure the release of these detainees, considering that the courts are not sitting owing to the JUSUN strike,” the press release read.
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