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Thursday 23 June 2016

NBA-ANAMBRA CHAPTER: condemns continued detention, incarceration of IPOB in prison and Army Barracks

ONITSHA - The Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) Anambra state chapter, has condemned the alleged continued detention and incarceration of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and non members alike in various detention camps created by the military, police and other law enforcement agents since their arrests on May 30 in connection with the Biafra remembrance day celebration.

NBA therefore called on the military, police and other enforcement agencies in the South East zone to either release those arrested in connection with the Biafra day episode or arraign them as soon as possible.

Chairman of NBA Committee of Chairmen and Secretaries of eight branches in Anambra state, Ben Okoko who stated this while taking over the chairmanship of the committee of chairmen and secretaries of the eight branches of NBA in the state, said their continued detention and incarceration in various police and military formations and or other law enforcement agencies detention sites is a serious negation to their constitutional rights to liberty and freedom of movements as enshrined in Sections 35 (1) and 41 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

Read also:BREAKING: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT ON NKPOR MASSACRE: Killing of unarmed pro-Biafra supporters by military must be urgently investigated:

Okoko insisted that it is either they are released or arraigned in court for prosecution, warning that failure to abide by this clarion call on various law enforcement agencies to release their captives within a shortest possible period or arraign them in court would be regarded by NBA as an affront which is capable of attracting the ire of the bar in the state.

Okoko also described as most unwholesome a situation where by law enforcement agencies shoot and kill unarmed civilians at some sacred and hallowed places like churches, schools and market places Just because they wanted to celebrate Biafra rememberance day.

According to Okoko, "We are now in a democratic dispensation and no longer in a dictatorship era where the barrels of guns should reign supreme, adding, a situation where the police, the military and other law enforcement agencies open fire with live bullets, instead of rubber bullets on unarmed civilians is most abhorrent and condemnable and that is why NBA is trying to investigate it and ascertain the true position".

He said NBA's call for their release or arraignment in court is in tandem with their constitutional rights to fair hearing since they are presumed to be innocent under our constitution until they are proved guilty by the court, adding, "Our call for their release or arraignment is also in line with the Provisions of African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights".


Okoko also called on the general public to supply more concrete information regarding the continued detention and incarceration of innocent civilians by our law enforcement agents as such information would go a long way in articulating NBA's next line of action.

He disclosed that NBA would soon commence a discreet investigation into the alleged continued detention and incarceration in various police formations and Onitsha military cantonment of innocent Igbo citizens who were arrested as members of IPOB or Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB in various parts of the state on May 30 in connection with the Biafra day remembrance celebration.

NBA said its decision to carry out the investigation was sequel to allegation that law enforcement agencies are still holding captive and at the same time incarcerating some members of IPOB who they arrested inside the Church premises, Eke market, Nkpor and along the streets of Onitsha and Nkpor during May 30 aborted Biafra Day celebration.


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