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25.08.2021 Social Justice SPOTLIGHT: Who is Glory Okolie, the ‘IPOB Spy Girl’ Enslaved by IRT?

Published 25th Aug, 2021

By Mariam Hamzat

Glory Okolie has spent about 70 days in the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT)’s custody following her arrest as bait to get Uzoma Emojiri, a commander of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group.

Following social media uproar over her prolonged stay and use as a maid in custody, the Police released a statement linking her to IPOB as a ‘spy girl’ who received and sent money on behalf of the group.

However, her family has denied the claim. Christian Okolie, Glory’s Uncle said he was not aware she had a relationship with IPOB. Glory’s mother also said the claim was baseless.

Who really is Gloria Okolie?

BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION

Twenty-one-year-old Glory was born into a family of four on June 13, 2000. Her father was a shoemaker until his death in 2011. Virginia, her mother, is a trader who fries and sells yam in Owerri.    

Glory attended Comprehensive Secondary School, Umutanke, Owerri, where she registered for and took the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in 2019. Before her arrest, she registered for the 2021 UTME and was looking to get an admission form for the School of Nursing, Amigbo, Imo State.   

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While waiting, she learnt pedicures and manicures. Her relatives had contributed money to train her in auxiliary nursing. But they later agreed to send her to a nursing school.

RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES

As a singer, Glory ministered in churches in and around her local government area. She was a member of the Royal Love International Church, Umutanke, Owerri, but also assisted her uncle at the Faith-Filled Word Ministry.

Pastor Solomon Okwara, a pastor at Royal Love International Church, said Glory was a diligent and humble member of the church’s choir.

“It shocked the church to learn that she was missing. We prayed for her safe return and that her family found her alive and well. It was quite surprising, though, that she was in the police custody, not kidnapped as many of us believed,” Solomon said.

RELATIONSHIP WITH IPOB MEMBER

The Police linked Glory to an IPOB commander. But the family said they had never heard of him.

“The guy is not from here and we don’t even know where he is from. We do not know him before. It was after these issues that we got to know that they were linking him with Glory,” her uncle said.

Before her arrest, Glory helped her mother in her trade and rarely went out.

“She lives with me and rarely goes out,” Virginia said. “I fry yam and she hawks it and returns home. I lost my husband a few years ago, so I used the money from my trading to maintain the family. We have no link to any IPOB member.”      

Glory’s family members also faulted police claim that they traced N17.5million to her account. Christian told FIJ that he did not know of her controlling such an enormous amount.

“The news that Glory is one of the IPOB people and has money linked to them shocked me. They detained her for over 60 days and never told us what she did or anything about their findings. We went there several times, but they didn’t let her answer questions. They did not even let her talk to us,” he said.

Published 25th Aug, 2021

By Mariam Hamzat

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