Police Says Oby Ezekwesili, BBOG Activists Not Arrested

The FCT Police Command on Tuesday night said that it did not arrest or detain Dr Oby Ezekwesili and some members of the Bring Back Our Girls group (BBOG) as being speculated on some social media platforms.

“It is pertinent to state that they were only brought to the Command to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order as some members of the group reacted violently and broke down security barriers set up by the police to restrict their protest to Unity Fountain,” the Command Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Anjuguri J. Manzah, said in a statement.

According to him, “The members of the group were addressed by the Commissioner of Police FCT, CP Sadiq Abubakar Bello, who reiterated the commitment of the Command to protect lives and property and enjoined the Bring Back Our Girls members to go about their lawful businesses.

“After the briefing by the Commissioner of Police, the members of the group left the Command.” the release added.

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”

Oby Ezekwesili Arrested By The Police

The group covener of the Bring Back Our Girls, Oby Ezekwesili, has been arrested and detained by the FCT Police Command for reasons unknown.

The former Minister of Education, in a series of post on her twitter handle @obyezeks said she was arrested alongside some members of the BBOG group.

Aisha Yesufu, Ms Maureen Kabrik, Jeff Okoroafor and four others were also arrested according to her statements.

Reacting to the reported arrest, The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, in a statement via its Twitter page, demanded the immediate release of those arrested.

SERAP tweeted, “The reported false imprisonment & detention of @obyezeks & members of @BBOG_Nigeria makes a mockery of @MBuhari’s claim that this govt is one of change that is governed by d rule of law. The authorities should immediately release them & allow them to freely exercise their rights.”

ASUU’s Demands Are Unrealistic – Ezekwesili

Dr Oby Ezekwesili, a one-time Minister of Education, has said in an interview in Ibadan, Oyo State, that the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) were unrealistic given the nation’s current economic situation.

“Money is not limitless and yet everyone must acknowledge that investment in education is crucial and it is key. There are, however, some fundamental reforms that the sector needs in order to ensure that it is not about the size of the funding but about the productivity of the funding.

“You cannot simply express a desire, it must be founded on reality and that means you must know what can be achieved within a given period.

“If you remember, the ASUU negotiation started in 2007 when I was the Minister of Education and we constituted a government negotiation team, led by the late Gamaliel Onosode.

“Even though that period was short, one of the major issues for me was for us to make sure that we were being evidenced based in the way we were solving the problem.

“We considered issues like the existing model in countries similar to us in emerging economies,’’ she said.

The ex-minister who urged both warring parties to return to negotiating proferred a solution to the recurring crisis, stating that only a strong analysis of the issues raised by ASUU and evidenced based policies could help.

The latest indefinite ASUU strike has lasted 6 days. Among other things, ASUU is pressing for increased funding for universities and the implementation of an agreement signed between it and the Federal Government years ago.