A civil society group, Concerned Nigerians, has described the arrest and detention of spokespeeaon for the Coalition of United Political Parties, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, as unconstitutional and a violation of the Nigerian constitution.
In a letter to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the group said Ugochinyere’s arrest was carried out in direct disrespect and disregard for court orders.
The letter, which was signed by Comrade Deji Adeyanju, Convener of the group, urged the IGP to comply with these rulings and order the immediate release of the CUPP spokesperson from detention.
The letter reads, “We are constrained to call your attention to an order given by Honourable Justice O. A. Musa of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in the matter of Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere v Hon Femi Gbajabiamila & Ors, FCT/HC/BW/CV/120/2020, where the court reiterated the order of Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court and further restrained the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the State
Security Services either by themselves or through their servants or proxies from arresting Mr Ugochinyere pending the conclusion of the suit before it. Find attached the court order.
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“Mr Ugochinyere’s arrest was carried out in direct disrespect and disregard for the orders of court, and constitutes a display of disregard for the judiciary that has become all too common in our democracy.
“He is currently detained in deplorable conditions in a tiny cell with as many as 38 other people. In the current situation where the entire world is worried about the spread of the novel Coronavirus, these conditions present severe threat to Mr Ugochinyere’s health.
“You will recall that upon assumption of office, and several times since, you have stated your intention to ensure that the Nigerian Police displays respect for the judiciary by complying with all orders of the courts at all times.
“It is on this basis that we call on you to use your good offices t’o cause compliance with these orders of court and order Mr. Ugochinyere’s immediate release from detention.”
Saharareporters, New York