Festus Keyamo Attacks Police Over Oby Ezekwesili

Senior Advocate of Nigeri, SAN Festus Keyamo, has said the arrest of members of BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) advocacy group leader, Oby Ezekwesili by the men of the Nigerian Police Force is “insensitive and insensate”.

The senior lawyer maintained that the arrest was “unjustified” and was a “violent violation of human rights.”

In a statement he signed and sent to newsmen, the senior lawyer urged the police to apologise to the advocacy group.

Keyamo also reiterated his earlier call that the IGP, Ibrahim Idris should immediately resign from his position.

The statement reads, “I just read with shock, bewilderment and disillusionment the arrest by the Nigerian Police of members of Bring Back Our Girls movement who gathered for a peaceful protest at the Unity Fountain in Abuja earlier today.

“This arrest is one too many, especially coming on the heels of the recent illegal arrest and detention of some on-line journalists by the same Police, acting at the behest of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.

“I am still struggling to come to terms with the explanation given by the Police for the arrest, which is the absence of a permit by the members of the group. This moronic excuse is not only inexcusable, it is laughable as Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) guarantees the right to PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY and association. The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, has also re-iterated that a police permit is NOT REQUIRED for such a gathering in the case of IGP V. ANPP & ORS (2007) 18 NWLR (PT. 1066) PG. 457.

“Though, I understand that the members of the group have been released from the Police Station to which they were taken, it does not detract from the fact that detention of a citizen, no matter how brief, so long as it is unjustified, is a violent violation of human rights. The law is very clear on this as stated by the Court of Appeal in the case of DURUAKU V. NWOKE (2015) 15 NWLR (PT. 1483) PG. 417, particularly at 471 Par F-G.

“I therefore call on the Nigerian Police to IMMEDIATELY apologise to the members of the group for this unwarranted, unjustified and provocative trespass on their persons and deprivation of their freedoms.

“I also re-iterate my call for the removal of the Inspector-General of Police from office for these unpardonable and inexplicable infractions of the fundamental rights of citizens of our country”

Keyamo Asks Buhari To Remove IGP Idris Over Unlawful Arrest Of Elombah Brothers

Human Rights Activist, and famous lawyer Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Kpotum Idris for high-handedness and Abuse of office in ordering the illegal arrest and detention of online journalists, Daniel Elombah and Tim Elombah.

Keyamo who made the request in a letter written to President Buhari dated 15, January accused the IGP of displaying personal vendetta by refusing to release Tim Elombah long after the detention order granted by an Area Court Judge has expired.

The Senior Advocate who narrated how the Elombah brothers were abducted from their home town in Edoji, Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra state, said that a situation where Mr President’s appointees ride rough shod over innocent citizens or use the positions to which Mr President appointed them to settle personal scores should, ordinarily, rankle the President and cause him to intervene.

“Your Excellency, it is shocking and alarming, to say the least, that the Inspector-General of Police deployed the officers and men of special police squads like SARS and STS, which are established to fight serious and violent crimes, to settle a purely private grievance with on-line journalists. If at all an offence was committed by the said published article (which is not conceded) a simple civil invitation to our clients would have sufficed. But to use such strong-arm tactics to reign in our clients was a gross abuse of his office and an employment of stone-age tactics in pursuing his personal grievance.

“He has further displayed his personal vendetta by refusing to release Tim Elombah long after the detention order has expired. This is one of the worst forms of abuse of human rights.

“Your Excellency, such practices should be clearly unacceptable under your watch. A situation where your appointees ride rough shod over innocent citizens or use the positions to which you appointed them to settle personal scores should, ordinarily, rankle you and cause you to intervene. It should be more so as the substance of the matter has to do with the criticism of the personal life of a public officer by the Fourth Estate of the Realm, a practice that has come to be recognized as one of the components of a thriving democracy. If a public officer cannot tolerate or stomach harsh criticisms, he has no business occupying public office.

“It is in the light of the above we urge you to use your good offices to order an investigation into this crass display of power and indiscretion by the Inspector-General of Police and mete out appropriate sanctions against him, which may include the extreme step of relieving him of his position.”

Keyamo’ petition further said that “On or about the 1st day of January, 2018, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, caused the men and officers of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad to invade the family compound of our clients in Edoji, Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra State. Six persons (including our clients) were arrested, handcuffed like common criminals and driven to the SARS office in Nnewi. They were subsequently taken to the SARS headquarters in Awkuzu, near Awka. Up till this point, our clients were not informed of the reason(s) for their arrests.

“It was at SARS headquarters in Awkuzu that our clients were handed over to other armed officers who identified themselves as being from Special Tactical Squad, S.T.S, a team that works directly in the office of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris. Our clients and one Izuchukwu Elombah were then taken all the way by road (and in handcuffs) to Abuja.

“It was in Abuja that the officers then subjected our clients to hours of grueling interrogation regarding an article published in another blog called opinionnigeria.com, titled ‘IGP Ibrahim Idris’s Unending Baggage of Controversies”. The article in question was not published by our clients’ blog, Elombah.com, and our clients denied any link to the author, one Ebiowei Dickson. Daniel and Izuchukwu Elombah were eventually released on bail, but have been made to report constantly since then.

“However, the Police got a Remand Order to detain Tim for seven days which expired more than a week ago and the Police are still holding Tim illegally. We now understand that the Police have prepared a Charge against our clients and they would soon be arraigned.”