The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has announced the release of 107 of the 112 “defenseless and unarmed residents” of Obigbo in Rivers State allegedly arrested and kept in detention by the Army for nine months.
“Their release followed a Court bail granted to them a week or two ago and perfection of their bail conditions,” the Onitsha-based group said in a statement on Wednesday.
107 of the mostly Igbo citizens of Obigbo residency have also successfully rejoined their families and other loved ones over nine months after they were allegedly waylaid and arrested by soldiers of the Nigerian Army on their way back from work or going to work and other legitimate social activities.
Intersociety said the Nigerian Army had on 21st Oct 2020 invaded the Obigbo part of Rivers State following the state-wide broadcast by Governor Nyesom Wike who accused the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of masterminding the EndSARS protests in the State that led to death of dozens of civilians and security personnel and destruction of some public properties.
The statement adds, “With the release of 107, in addition to release on 29/30th June 2021 of 26 others held by DSS and previous release of a total 283 others; a total of 416 of the 550 arrested have been freed through various court bails.
“In other words, not less than 134 are still not independently located and are still languishing in secret military custodies, only known to the Nigerian Army. It must be remembered that till date, the authorities of the Nigerian Army have kept mute over the arrest and disappearances; refusing to speak on why they were abducted and held in captivity for almost ten months without trial.
“Intersociety had in its statement of 6th July 2021 released names of the 112 abductees including the four (now five in number) that died.
“Sadly, among the 112 secretly held at the Nigerian Army’s Alpha Military Commando Base in Suleja, Niger State, five have lost their lives; namely: Thomas Ekwueme, Pius Onochie, Obinna Akapuru, Monday Ifeanyi and Tobechukwu Odoka…. “