Abuja Court frees 29 Oyigbo residents abducted by army during crackdown on IPOB members

A chief magistrate Court on Thursday in Abuja ordered the release of 29 out of 30 detainees abducted from Oyigbo in Rivers State and detained by the Nigerian Army in Abuja.

The 30th person was, however, not released on religious grounds.

Hundreds of Oyigbo residents were arrested and airlifted to Abuja after the army launched a crackdown on suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

The bail followed an alarm raised by a human rights group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) on Wednesday alleging that the Nigerian Army had abducted over 400 Oyigbo residents and holding them in secret camps.

In the report, the human rights group said 150 of the 400 abducted Oyigbo residents were being held incommunicado at the Sani Abacha Barracks, among other military dungeons in Abuja.

In the report titled: How 400 Obigbo Residents Or More Were Abducted By Soldiers & Transported To Secret Military Dungeons In The North, 52 Rescued In Niger State, 3 Tortured To Death & 150 Languishing In Abacha Barracks (Abuja),Etc”, the group said that Decree 2 Is Back.

The report reads in part “The International Freedom of Exchange had referred to Nigeria’s Military Decree 2 of 1984 “as the Nigerian State Security (Detention of Persons) Decree No. 2 of 1984, which allows for indefinite and incommunicado detention of Nigerian citizens without trial”. From every indication, this infamous and anti democratic military law is back and put in clandestine practice in Nigeria under the present central Government and this time around is being used by the country’s heavily Muslim-dominated and controlled Nigerian Army to target on religious and tribal grounds citizens of old Eastern and Mid Western Nigeria particularly the Igbo citizens of Judeo-Christian faith.

“The Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety) is shocked to note that the number of Obigbo residents, all Christians and mostly Igbo citizens, abducted and disappeared by the Nigerian Army, has risen to 400 or more; out of which, 150 have been discovered to be held indefinitely and incommunicado without Court trial in different secret Army and Spy Police dungeons located in the Federal Capital Territory or Abuja.

“In our latest finding, 52 defenceless Obigbo residents, all Judeo-Christian Igbos were recently rescued and their release secured through three different Courts and four processes in Niger State. The 52 rescued abductees exclude three that died from torture in soldiers’ captivity. While one died on the road during their secret and night long transportation from Obigbo-to-Obinze (Army Barracks)-Abuja, two others died in Army secret detention custodies in Niger State. It was further discovered that most of the abductees were transported by road while others including elderly ones among them were airlifted through the local wing of the Port Harcourt Int’l Airport in Rivers State and the Sam Mbakwe Airport in Imo State.

“Corroboratively, Intersociety had back in September 2020, been told or received some independent reports that ‘dozens of citizens of Igbo Christian extraction were being held secretly and outside the law in places like Gusau Prisons located in Zamfara State. They are defenceless and unarmed citizens vindictively arrested across various states in old Eastern and Mid Western Nigeria, labeled “IPOB terrorists” and secretly transferred to far away Zamfara State, etc where they are secretly being held without trial.

“One major attribute of the dreaded Decree 2 now being used clandestinely by the Lt Gen Tukai Buratai-led Nigerian Army is the extrajudicial transfer and incarceration of citizens abducted by Army at prison facilities without recourse to court orders or remands. In other words, citizens abducted by soldiers are now sent directly to prisons from military custodies on orders of the Army High Commands including the COAS. This is one of the dreaded features of the obnoxious Decree 2 now in clandestine practice in the country


The Port City News