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Businessman arrested by DSS over alleged IPOB comments on social media, lawyer alleges

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A lawyer and human rights activist, Festus Ogun, on Monday, alleged that a businessman, Emeka Richmond Ngornadi, has been arrested and detained by the Department of State Service (DSS) since April 2021 for allegedly making comments on social media in support of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

According to Ogun, Ngornadi is critically ill in detention.

“Regardless of whatever crime, he’s alleged to have committed, this is an abysmal abuse of human rights that should not go unchallenged. The SSS itself is a creation of law and cannot continue to act as if it is above the law,” he lamented.

“Just last week, news came in that a 21-year-old lady has been in illegal detention for over 67 days. Glory Okolie was arrested for being friends with IPOB members! What could be more illegal? What could be more vexing? What could be more scandalous?” Ogun queried.

Tribune Online recalls that after public outcry, the police in a press statement said Okolie was arrested for being a spy for IPOB.

But Ogun said “the Police cannot explain itself out of this messy show of impunity. Whatever the alleged crime of Glory was, she is entitled to fair trial and treatment.”

He continued, “Under the 1999 Constitution, you cannot detain a citizen beyond 24 or 48 hours. Failure to charge Glory to court within 48 hours of her arrest made her incarceration unlawful and unconstitutional.

“My position is fortified by the sacred provision of Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution. Sadly, the Police, who are empowered to ensure law and order, are notorious for observing the law in breach. This madness must stop if we want a peaceful country.

“The regime of Buhari must desist from attacking human rights and civil liberties. You cannot continue setting the dignity of citizens on fire by hiding under the pretext of fighting IPOB members. This calculated attack on easterners must stop! Human rights are too expensive to be toyed with in this barbaric manner.

“I begin to wonder why the same Buhari regime that derives joy in detaining suspected IPOB members without lawful justification is the same that treats Boko-Haram members with respect, courtesy and love. Our country remains a risk unless and until we learn to respect human rights, rule of law and the basic tenets of social justice,” he said.

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