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11.08.2021 news Nine Months after, 107 Obigbo Youth Arrested by Soldiers Regain Freedom

Published 11th Aug, 2021

By Emmanuel Uti

International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (INTERSOCIETY) has announced the release of 107 residents of Obigbo, Rivers State, who were detained by security operatives some nine months ago at the Nigerian Army’s Alpha Military Commando Base in Suleja, Niger State.

Emeka Umeagbalasi, the Chairman of Intersociety, said in a statement released on Wednesday that the men were released only after a court granted them bail weeks ago and the perfection of their bail conditions.

He said that among the 112 residents allegedly detained in Army facilities, five people lost their lives, and 107 have been released and reunited with their families.

 “The 107 mostly Igbo Christian citizens of Obigbo residency have also successfully rejoined their families and other loved ones over nine months after they were waylaid by soldiers on their way back from work or going to work and other legitimate social activities and were abducted and disappeared,” he said.

Umeagbalasi explained that the men were arrested on October 21, 2020, in Obigbo, “following the state-wide broadcast by Governor Nyesom Wike, who hastily and maliciously accused the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of masterminding the #EndSARS protests in the state that led to the death of dozens of civilians and security personnel, and the destruction of some public properties”.

“The governor had played into the hands of the lopsidedly composed Nigerian Army, which cashed in on his broadcast to allegedly put the area under siege and go on a killing spree leading to the death of not less than 102 civilians in two months, during which no fewer than 550 were abducted and private properties worth hundreds of millions of naira burnt or destroyed,” he explained.

He stated that with the release of these 107 Obigbo abductees, in addition to the June 29/30 release of 26 others held by DSS and the previous release of a total of 283 other abductees, a total of 416 of the 550 abductees have been freed through various court bails.

“In other words, not less than 134 are still not independently located and are still languishing in secret military custody, only known to the Nigerian Army. It must be remembered that, to date, the authorities of the Nigerian Army have kept mute over the abductions and disappearances; refusing to speak about why they were abducted and held in captivity for almost 10 months without trial,” he said.

 “Intersociety had in its statement of 6th July 2021 released the names of the 112 abductees, including the four (now five in number) that died. Sadly, among those 112 abductees, secretly held at the Nigerian Army’s Alpha Military Commando Base in Suleja, Niger State, five have lost their lives.”

Published 11th Aug, 2021

By Emmanuel Uti

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