Lawyer accuses security agencies of master minding disappearances of 24 persons , unlawful detention since 2021

A lawyer to the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, Nnaemeka Ejiofor has accused the Nigerian Army and Department of State Services of master minding force disappearances of 24 persons in the country since 2021.

Ejiofor claimed that the 24 persons whose parents had lodged complaints with him were picked up in various states of the South East geo-political zone and clamped into detention camp and State Security Services cells.

The legal practitioner stated this at a press conference on Monday in Abuja and alleged that all efforts of their families and lawyers to reached have been rebuffed by the Nigerian Army and DSS.

He gave names of the persons as: Ikechukwu Henry,Joy Godwin Udoh, Emeka Ngomadi, Barrister Pius Awoke, Chinedum Nwoha,Igwe Johnson Dike, Ogbonna Joseph Ajah, Kingsley Onovu, Ogbonna David Kenneth Ojima and Fortune Okerie.

Others are Joseph Okafor Eze, Emmanuel Onyibe Chinonso, Uket Godwin,Ogbonna Christian Ndubusi, Eze Ernest Chukwuemeka, Ibeleme Torchukwu, Emmanuel Ike, Reverend Cletus Egole, Pastor Phillip Chinedu Egole, Chinonso Anyanwu, Kelechi Okeke, Godspower Chilemu and Chukwuma Nwaokike.

The counsel said that the military authorities and the DSS who arrested them have been giving conflicting and confusing information in Court on the whereabouts of the detainees.

He said that while the DSS claimed that the detainees were in the military custody, the army authorities deposed to affidavit in the High Court to the effect that none of the persons were handed over to them or in their custody.

Barrister Ejiofor further alleged that fundamental rights of the detainees have been flagrant breached by their continuous detention without trial.

He said.some of arrested persons includes clergymen who were picked from their churches while ohers were picked up in the nights thereby making it difficult for families of the detainees to ascertain the identities of the security operatives.

He pleaded with DSS and federal government authorities to arraign the detainees in law courts if they have committed any known offence instead of keeping them in unknown detention camps in breach of the 1999 Constitution.

“At a point, we were told that they have been moved to a Military Camp in Kainji where Boko Haram terrorists are being kept but unfortunately, all findings on our parts yielded no fruitful results.

“As I am addressing you, I can confirm to you that since 2021 when my clients were unlawfully arrested, no one has been allowed to see or access them. Our security should do their work diligently and in line with provisions of the law.

“We are not in Banana republic. We are in democratic era and everything we are doing, including our security agencies, must be in tune with our laws.

At the media briefing attended by wives, children and relatives of the detainees, the counsel pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into the plights of his clients by ordering security agencies to file criminals charges against them in law court so as to protect the sanctity of human rights.