The Nigerian Army has arrested and detained for over one month Mr Tochukwu Okeke, the Senior Special Assistant on Security matters to the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
SaharaReporters learnt that Okeke was arrested in July over his alleged membership of the Indigenous People of Biafra and had been detained since then at the barracks of the 82 Division, Enugu State.
Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
SaharaReporters gathered that the Nigerian Army despite an order from the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, continued to hold Okeke in its custody.
The court had last week ordered the Nigerian Army to release unconditionally, the Senior Special Assistant but the military authorities refuse to obey.
Okeke’s lawyer, Chinedum Agwaramgbo, had filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit for the release of his client imprisoned by the 82 Division.
According to the supporting affidavit attached to the motion, Okeke was arrested by officers of the respondents for allegedly belonging to IPOB and its Eastern Security Network.
The Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, and the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Mechanised Division Enugu, Taoreek Lagbaja, are the 1st and the 3rd respondents in the suit.
The court had on July 29, 2021, ordered the army to produce Okeke and show cause why the detainee should not be released on bail.
However, the respondents ignored the court’s order as they neither filed any response nor put up a legal representation, necessitating the judge, Stephen Pam, to make an interlocutory order for the unconditional release of Okeke.
A military source noted that Okeke allegedly coordinated a syndicate which attacked police and military facilities within Enugu including Adani Police Division, a military checkpoint along Adani- Omoh road, Ezeagu Police Division, military Check point along Orji River-Udi road, military checkpoint along Enugu Abakaliki Road and a host of others.
The source alleged that one of the syndicates’ camps was raided at Akpawfu-Amangwunze in the Nkanu West Local Government Area where several arms, ammunition, cars and charms were recovered.
The Nigerian Army, known for serial violation of the court orders, however, refused to release Okeke as ordered by the court.
SaharaReporters, New York