WARRI—FOUR Ijaw groups have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Nigerian Army to release the 10 youths arrested and detained for close to two months without trial over alleged membership of Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, or charge them to court.
By Emma Amaize & Akpokona Omafuaire
PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI
Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, National Association of Gbaramatu Students, NAGS, Ijaw People Development Initiative, IPDI and Foundation of Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, FHRACC, made the call in separate statements in Warri, Delta State.
IYC, in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr. Eric Omare, said: “If the military has evidence of criminal offence against the Oporoza 10 and ex-militant leader, Mr. Francis Muturu, arrested by soldiers in Bomadi, we demand that they charge them to court and let the court determine their guilt or innocence. Otherwise, we demand that they should release the suspects without further delay. The fight against insurgency in the Niger Delta should not be a subterfuge to punish innocent people.”
NAGS in a statement by their national president, Seiyefa Ekpemupolo and others, said: “We call on the Federal Government to immediately release our students arrested by the military under the guise of searching for militants. If the government has any issue against the children, they should charge them to court. We have a premonition that they have killed them.”
Also, National President of FHRACC, Alaowei Cleric, said: “Their arrest without trial and denying them access to legal representation and family members is the height of human rights abuse against the citizens of this country, who ought to enjoy the rights provided every Nigerian in the Constitution.”
In his comment, national president of IPDI, Austin Ozobo, said: “The arrested suspects are mainly students and artisans in Oporoza. We made the point very clear when they were arrested, but you can see the injustice in this country where blameless youths are held for about two months without trial.”